Development and evaluation of time-temperature integrator for monitoring high temperature thawing of frozen buffalo meat


Abstract: Research was undertaken to develop an enzyme-substrate-based time-temperature integrator (TTI) for monitoring higher temperature thawing of frozen buffalo meat. Alpha-amylase and iodine-starch complex were standardized for enzyme-substrate combinations and process optimization and packed in 2 × 2 cm LDPE bags. The meat samples were packed in polystyrene trays with cling film overwrap and frozen at -18 ± 1 °C. Each sample had a sticker-type TTI attached to the surface of the package. The frozen samples were subjected to temperature abuse at 25 ± 1 °C and 37 ± 1 °C, keeping a control at 4 ± 1 °C. On higher temperature thawing at 25 ± 1 °C, the TTI remained bluish black for 6 h, changed to brown at 12 h, and then changed to yellow at 18 h. At 37 ± 1 °C, color change was not observed in the TTI up to 4 h, then it turned brown at 8 h and to yellow at 12 h. In the control group of frozen meat thawed at 4 ± 1 °C (normal thawing), no color change was observed. From this observation, a color chart was developed to compare TTI color variation with the acceptability of thawed meat. Results have shown that during high temperature thawing of meat, the response of the TTI corroborated well with changes in various meat quality parameters like pH, extract release volume, free amino acids, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, total volatile basic nitrogen, D-glucose concentration, shear force, tintometer color units, microbial counts, and sensory scores. It is concluded that a TTI based on the starch-iodine-amylase complex can be successfully used to evaluate the history of high temperature thawing of frozen buffalo meat.

Keywords: Time-temperature integrator, buffalo meat, thawing, color, quality

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