How red is the steak?
A new international guideline for color measurement is now available. The color is a decisive factor for what kind of meat the consumer will choose at retail display. Still, the most red meat is not always of the highest quality.
Measurement and evaluation of color is important to meat science, in industrial R&D and in trouble shooting along the value chain for meat. In the development of packaging methods is color a main consideration. The muscle pigment myoglobin contributes most to meat color. Extensive knowledge about myoglobin is needed for producing meat and meat products with red color and high color stability.
A guideline for measuring color
The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) is an organisation for meat scientist, students and industry staff with appr. 1000 members. AMSA has recently published an updated and extended document with advice on measurement of meat color, of appr. 125 pages. The document contains chapters about color chemistry, sample preparation, instrumental color measurements, visual color appraisal, chemical methods, photography, dictionary, including a comprehensive list of literature. The goal is that the AMSA Meat Color Guideline will lead to more accurate and standarised color measurements, both in research and industry.
A committee of appr. 15 members, chaired by Melvin Hunt at Kansas State University and Andy King, at USDA has provided scientific information and writing of the document. From Nofima have Kjell J. Merok and Oddvin Sørheim participated in the work. The AMSA Meat Color Guideline can be obtained by contacting the two Norwegian representatives or by accessing the AMSA web site at http://www.meatscience.org.
Nofima has been conducting research on meat packaging and color for a number of years.