inserted, as well as increasing the fat content, that reduces percieved tougness.
· Chemical – this is most often carried out through marinades. Marinading a meat before
cooking reduces subsequent cooking times.
There are three classes of marinade:
· Acids, like lemon juice, vinegar, wine or tomatoes, helps tenderise meat by starting to
denature the proteins, causing them to unwind. Since one of the aims of cooking is to
denature the meat proteins (which makes the meat more digestible) so marinading
first will reduce subsequent cooking times. However, marinades penetrate meat very
slowly, so the proteins in the outside of the meat, that are in direct contact with the
marinade, may start to coagulate, and as the bonds in the protein network start to
strengthen the meat juices may be forced out. This problem can to some extent be
prevented by injecting the marinade into the centre of the meat, using a cook’s
· Enzymes: some raw fruits contain protein-splitting enzymes (proteases), which act on
raw meat to tenderise it. They work in the same way as natural ageing by breaking
down and softening the muscle fibre and connective tissue (collagen), making the
meat less tough. Examples of these protein containing fruits include the pineapple, the
papaya, the paw paw, kiwifruits, or figs. All these enzymes work fairly slowly at room
temperature, but work very quickly between 60 and 70 C, so have most effect on
tenderising the meat at the beginning of the process of cooking the meat. These
enzymes penetrate the meat even slower than marinades, so often the outside of the
meat may become overly digested and tender while the inside of the meat remains
tough. Again, injecting these enzymes into the centre of the meat avoids this problem.
· Dairy: Dairy products such as buttermilk or yogurt are only mildly acidic, so do not
toughen the outer part of the meat in contact with the marinade in the way that the
strongly acidic marinades do. Additionally. it seems that the calcium in dairy products
activates enzymes in meat that break down proteins, tenderising the meat like ageing
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