Introduction to Meat Inspection:
Word meat is derived from the old English word, “mete” which means for food. Edible parts of food animals which consume grasses and other crops is called meat. E.g. sheep, goat, buffalo, pig and rabbit.
It is well balanced highly concentrated diet which is rich in high quality proteins, vitamin B complex and minerals especially iron.
Classification on the base of color:
The meat which is rich in myoglobin level is called as red meat. E.g. mutton and beef.
The meat which is less in myoglobin is called as white meat. E.g. poultry, fish.
Classification on the base of type of tissue:
Muscle Meat…which is composed of muscles of the animals. Muscle meat may be striated which is composed of skeletal muscles or non-striated which is composed of non-striated muscles. E.g. pharynx, esophagus, intestine and vagina.
Organ Meat….which is composed of different organs. E.g. heart, liver, kidney, spleen, intestine and testis.
Characteristics of Wholesome Meat:
Meat which is disease free and is palatable for human consumption is called as wholesome meat. There are 10 characteristics of wholesome meat;
Color…Normal color of the meat of all the species must be in the range of pink to red shade based on specie, age, bleeding during slaughtering and working condition of the animal before slaughtering.
Larage…Area in slaughter house where animal is kept for rest. Color of exhausted animal is darker. Washing and feeding are also the factors.
Lighter Color…It indicates two possibilities; either particular meat is of a very young animal because of low myoglobin level or it is an indication of water infusion.
Darker Color…Either the animal was pyrexic or bleeding does not occurred properly due to fatigue.
Grey Green color…It means meat is spoilage putrified. Putrified meat in different animals show different colors; beef(cherry red), lamb(light pink), mutton(lighter red), chevon(meat of goat)(darker) and venison..deer meat(darker).
Consistency…it is degree of firmness or degree of density. Outer surface should be good and glassy.
Odour…Aroma is meaty. Taste is a part of flavor. Flavor is beyond taste. Flavor is composed of creamy, softness/hardness, temperature, PH, amount of fat and odour.
Taste of Meat… Taste of meat is palatable and desirable. Juciness is wetness produced by the release of the meat fluids. Juciness is inversely proportional to cooking losses.
Tenderness… Degree of softness (during chewing). Young animals have more tenderness. In old, tenderness is less b/c of increase in elastin and collagen.
Marbelling… deposition of fat in b/w of muscle bundle is called marbelling. Subcut fat is not marbelled. Subcut fat acts as insulator and decrease water flow out of the carcass. Less out flow of water prohibits microorganisms to grow. So, chances of putrification are reduced. Intermuscular fat not called marbelling. Marbelling shoud be firm and free from hemorrhagic spots. Intramuscular is regarded as marbelling.
Color of Fat… Fat should be normal from whitish to yellowish. It depends upon 4 factors which include species, age, breed and degree of fat tening. Poultry fat contains vitamin E in abundance and unsaturated fatty acids as well.
Water Contents… Amount of water in the muscles or meat. A wholesome meat should not run into water. In young animals, there are high water contents.
Bone and Bone Marrow... Bone to meat ratio in animals is 20(bone) and 80(meat). Bone marrow should be of rosy red color. If bone marrow consistency is soft or color is whitish black or grey or brownish it is an indication of infection or putrefaction.