Aging Meat

Topics: Meat, Enzyme, Muscle Pages: 4 (1018 words) Published: November 9, 2010
Thames Valley University

The London School of Hospitality & Tourism

Faculty of Professional Studies

Foundation Degree in International Culinary Arts

Vegetables, potatoes and legumes

Frozen fruit and vegetables healthier than fresh. Caterers can reduce CO2 footprint by using frozen fruit and vegetables while they maintain quality and meet customer expectations



This research will present an analysis of traditional dry hanging method of meat and more recent wet hanging method. It will explain enzymatic activities on the meat before and after animal’s death and affects on the meat quality also, how those reactions assist flavour and tenderisation development process. It will look at hanging times for different animal carcasses and identify the reason why are not all meats hung for the same amount of time. The research will discus the cost, quality and wastage implications of both methods and explains why wet hanging method is mostly preferred in the industry today.

When the animals are slaughtered, “the glycogen in the muscle is transformed into lactic acid, which reduces enzyme activity, therefore the muscle and the carcass becomes firm. This lactic acid is essential to produce meat, which provides the taste, softness, good quality and colour.” (FAO, 2001) When the animals are stressed before and during slaughter, “the glycogen in the muscle is used up, and the lactic acid level in the meat is reduced, this will have serious adverse effects on meat quality.” (FAO, 2001) Soon after animal’s death “muscles tighten in the condition called rigor mortis and the meat becomes tough”.(McGee, 2004) Rigor sets in 1 to 2.5 hours and it can last up to 6 to 12 hours, it is depending on the type of an animal. During this stage enzymes start to break down the muscle fibers. “The muscle fibers begin to act on the framework which holds the actin and myosin filaments, overall muscle structure weakens and meat softens” (McGee,...

Bibliography: Baron Farms (2008) “Dry Aging vs Wet Aging” [online]
available from [accessed on 01/03/2009]
Fearnley-Whittingstall, H (2004) The River Cottage Meat Book. Great Britain: Hodder and Stoughton
Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (2001) “Guidelines of Humane Handling, Transport and Slaughter of Livestock” [online]
available from [accessed on 15/02/2009]
Mc Gee, H (2004) Food and Cooking, an Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture. Great Britain: Hodder and Stoughton
M&B Meat Packing (2007-2008) “Aging Meat” [online]
available from
[accessed on 01/03/2009]
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