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Characterisation of fluorescent Schiff bases formed during oxidation of pig myofibrils

Chelh, I., Gatellier, P., Santé-Lhoutellier, V.
Meat science 2007 v.76 no.2 pp. 210-215
pork, longissimus dorsi, sarcomeres, proteolysis, lipid peroxidation, carbonyl compounds, superoxide anion, free radicals, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, aldehydes, meat quality, color, fluorescence, muscle protein, meat aging, hydroxyl radicals
The aim of this study was to investigate the formation of fluorescent Schiff bases between proteins and lipid oxidation products in myofibrils. Myofibrils were prepared from pig M. longissimus dorsi and oxidized by hydroxyl (hydroxyl radical) and superoxide (superoxide anion) radical generating systems. Protein oxidation was measured by the carbonyl content and lipid oxidation was estimated by measurement of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). To avoid any bias due to their low solubility, fluorescent pigments were estimated directly in the solid state by a front-face fluorescence technique. Hydroxyl radicals generated high levels of lipid and protein oxidation as well as fluorescent pigments, whereas only fluorescence was affected by superoxide radicals. The formation of fluorescent pigments was linked not only to aldehyde production, but also to the availability of the amino groups of the myofibrillar protein side chains. Schiff bases could be implicated in protein aggregation with deleterious effect on meat quality.