Why and How to Conduct Meat Color Measurement?

Reviewed by Anurag Mishra (Sr. Technical Consultant)

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Meat Color Measurement is a quality control technique used in testing labs to ensure the freshness of the meat. It is mainly used by meat suppliers and meat product manufacturers.

Why we need it?

 We need it because color of meat is an important factor to determine the quality and freshness of the flesh. The color seen is based on the amount of pigment called myoglobin, its form at a particular time and the light scattering properties of the meat. A fresh cut piece may appear dark red in color when the pigment is not in reactive state. But after few second of exposure to air, it may change its color to bright red as it is now reacting with the oxygen in air and is transformed into oxymyoglobin. These color changes thus notify the freshness of flesh.

During the meat packaging process, the manufacturer have to be sure that the color remains the same as it was when it was cut fresh. Hence, a need of a color measurement is there.

 How we must do it?

 To measure the meat color changes we need a test equipment that follows the CIELAB system. Also it must be as per the CIE test standards. One such device is Portable spectrophotometer. The tool uses D65 illuminant which is considered to be ideal for meat color detection. Has a 45/0 degree observation system. Equipped with HMI based touchscreen display and operational screen. Has features to set and manage the test values also can be viewed in graphical form.

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