BACKGROUND: Marination of beef muscles with brine solutions containing proteolytic enzymes from fruit extracts has been shown to tenderize meat. However, the effect of marination with actinidin on tenderness of pork muscles has not been investigated. Tenderness and eating quality of porcine M. biceps femoris was investigated by Warner-Bratzler (WB) shear test and sensory evaluation after injection of brine containing up to 11 g L-1 actinidin-containing kiwi fruit powder and 2, 5 or 9 days of storage. RESULTS: actinidin decreased WB shear force, increased tenderness and did not affect flavour and juiciness. Injection of 2.8g L-1 actinidin powder and storage for 2 days resulted in WB shear force values similar to control samples stored for 5 or 9 days. In samples injected with 10 g L-1 actinidin powder, degradation of desmin and percentage of heat-soluble collagen (P <0.05) increased compared to control samples. Myofibrillar particle size tended to decrease (P <0.1) with increasing actinidin concentration. No major changes were observed by proteome analysis. Atomic force microscopy showed actinidin-induced damage of endomysium surrounding isolated single muscle fibres. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that actinidin tenderizes pork M. biceps femoris by affecting both the myofibrils and connective tissue.
- atomic force microscope
- collagen solubility