Objectives: The objectives for this lab exercise are to: Observe the effect of moist and dry heat cooking methods on the palatability of meat; to identify the ideal cooking procedures for various cuts of meat based on the tenderness of poultry and fish, to the effect of various factors on protein; to determine similarities and differences among analogous cuts of beef, pork, veal and lamb; to become familiar with safe handling procedures of meats; to demonstrate the use of enzymatic and mechanical methods of tenderizing connective tissue in meat. Procedure for our exercise (Exercise 4 Comparison of beef, veal, pork and lamb): As per page 55 in lab manual. Results for our Lab Exercise: In our lab exercise we found a large amount of variability among the different kinds of meat. When uncooked the color and overall tenderness of the different meats were noticeably different, even to the untrained individual. The fats found in the meat were whiter and less prominent the younger the animal was slaughtered, and had more of a yellow tinge when the later the animal was slaughtered. This is due to the fact that animals that are slaughtered at a very young age have little time to accumulate a large amount of fat marbling as in the older varieties. Once the meat was cooked, which occurred when the connective tissue (collagen) in the meat began to turn to gelatin, caused the differences in the meat to become even more prominent in terms of taste and texture. We found that the veal was actually the toughest meat to bite into and not very pleasant, this is contradictory of what is expected of a younger cut of meat, which should have been the most tender due to the lack of cross linking in the collagen fibers. I believe we found this result because the cut of veal was particularly small, which when put into the oven with the other cuts of meat for the same amount of time may have caused more water drainage and evaporation, leading to a tougher texture. The lamb seemed to have the softest texture, so much so, it was almost gel like in texture, and consequently it was not a very pleasant sensation. In terms of any changes in the bone color/structure, there was not much of a difference between the cooked and uncooked meat, perhaps only a slight yellowing due to heat exposure. We found the Veal to be the most expensive of all our meat varieties at 29.99 dollars per kilogram; this is most likely due to the fact that veal is rarer and more expensive for the meat farmers to produce. Results from other lab exercises: Exercise 1, Cooking Losses of Ground Beef: In this exercise it was found that the Pan broiled regular ground beef had the most cooking losses, at 48.3%. And the braised lean ground beef had the least at 33.3%. This could be due to the fact that the regular ground meat varieties have more fat (30%) and such to lose during the cooking process, the lean ground meats have less fat (17%) and therefore less matter to lose from the meat product. Exercise 2, Effect of temperature on tenderness of Meats: In terms of temperature the simple rule is that the higher the temperature is beyond the safe cooking interval, the less tender the meat is going to be. This is due to the amount of water drainage and evaporation that occurs during the cooking process. The more water that is lost the drainage or evaporation, the less tender the resulting meat is going to be. Exercise 3, Cooking Time and Tenderness of cooked Meats: The general rule for time is that the longer the meat is cooked beyond the recommended cooking time, the greater the extent of water drainage and evaporation. Which means once again that the longer the meat is cooked the less tender it is going to be. Exercise 5, Effects of Tenderizers and Cooking methods on Meats: The way in which a chemical tenderizer works is by adding an enzyme to the meat, the same enzyme in pineapple called Bromelain. This group seemed to have a less tender meat product when they used the commercial tenderizers; the slow cooker seemed to produce the most tender meat product. Results in General from the different varieties of meat, poultry and fish examined: Fish- Should be dipped in flour to seal in the moisture, and then dipped in egg, seeing as the egg protein acts as a binding agent. However the fish fillet should not be dipped in flour originally, because the breading may separate. When cooking the fish in terms of time, if the fillet is one inch thick the fish should be cooked for ten minutes, this is called the ten minute rule. The more the fat content in the fish the darker/deeper the color is going to be, this is related to the amount of twitch the fish is engaging in. Either fast, less color, or slow, more color. Pork- Proteins have water holding capacity, and some are also injected with water so it is important to read the label and find out what you are really getting for your money. When using tender cuts of pork, use dry heat and when using less tender cuts of pork, use dry heat. Chicken Breast- Cook between low and medium heat, ensure it is cooked properly to rid the chicken of any salmonella. Make sure when cooking a full turkey to check the temperature (180 F) in the leg and also check the stuffing. Overall Conclusion: The objectives were indeed fulfilled considering we looked at the procedures with moist and dry heat cooking methods and observed the differences in texture, color and their effects on the cooking techniques for each meat. As a group, we were able to identify the qualities and characteristics separating one meat from another. Considering each meat has a specific identity, there is a specific method to ensure the best texture and tenderness to be attained. Another objective was being aware of safety concerns regarding cooking meat such as the hamburger meat and E.Coli respectively. Another important point observed was the impacts on collagen to elastin, a conversion due to cooking. As we can see cooking has a great influence on meat quality, a very important statement in Lab #7.
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