The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of X-ray phase-contrast tomography combined with 3D image segmentation to investigate the heat induced structural changes in meat. The measurements were performed at the Swiss synchrotron radiation light source using a grating interferometric setup. The non-destructive method allowed the same sample to be measured before and after cooking. Heat denaturation resulted in a 36% decrease in the volume of the muscle fibers, while solubilization of the connective tissues increased the volume from 8.4% to 24.9%. The cooking loss was quantified and separated into a water phase and a gel phase formed by the sarcoplasmic proteins in the exudate. The results show that X-ray phase contrast tomography offers unique possibilities in studies both the meat structure and the different meat component such as water, fat, connective tissue and myofibrils in a qualitative and quantitative manner without prior sample preparation as isolation of single muscle components, calibration or histology.
- X-ray tomography
- Quantitative analysis