Decreasing Variation in Cook Color of Ground Beef Patties Varying in Myoglobin and pH Using Acetic Acid and Hydrocolloid Solutions



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The objective was to examine the use of acetic acid (AA) with xanthan gum (XG) or konjac flour (KF) to reduce variation in cooked color of ground beef patties varying in myoglobin and pH. Beef clods were selected from carcasses of young (<24 months, Y) and mature (>48 months, M) animals. Within each age category, high (>6.0, H) and normal pH (5.3-5.7, N) clods were chosen. Ground beef was prepared from each maturity/pH combination and treatments applied at 12% of the meat block: control (mixed only), 0.5% AA, 0.25% XG/0.5% AA, or 0.125% KF/0.5% AA. Dry and moist cooking was performed in a convection oven to internal temperatures: 65.6 degrees C, 71.1 degrees C, and 76.7 degrees C. Patties were held at 76.7 degrees C for up to 240 min in dry and moist environments. Internal (assessed at 0, 120, and 240 min of holding) and external (assessed every 30 min, 0 to 240 min of holding) color evaluations (CIE Lab*, visual doneness, and pink scores) were conducted. Three replications were performed. The YN patties had the most done appearance internally and the highest denatured myoglobin percentage. Generally, the YH and MN patties had responses between YN and MH got most variables. The MH patties had the highest internal a* color space values, lowest degree of doneness scores and low percentage of denatured myoglobin. The YN patties responded normally to the different internal temperatures achieved during cooking. The YH, MN, and MH patties had increased doneness to 71.1 degrees C and plateaued between 71.1 degrees C to 76.7 degrees C. Visual degree of doneness decreased during moist holding and this was most evident in dry cook/moist held patties. Patties from MH meat were not affected by the treatments as much as the other meat types. The inclusion of AA, XG/AA, and KF/AA in patties made from YH and MN can effectively reduce visible redness and increase myoglobin denaturation in comparison to the control YN beef patties. These ingredients could be viable options to reduce the variation that pH or myoglobin content imparts on ground beef patty cooked color, but as seen in the MH meat, treatment additions were not effective for overcoming both pH and high myoglobin content.