When meat is sliced, it absorbs oxygen from the atmosphere and the cut surface. Within one hour this process is complete and the surface of the meat is usually bright red; at this stage it is known as the “bloom colour”. However as time progresses, the surface of sliced meat will change from red to brown due to oxidation of the pigment oxymyoglobin to metmyoglobin. As meat becomes brown in colour, as shown in Figure 1 below, it is unattractive to consumers.
This research was funded jointly by the Sheep CRC and Meat and Livestock Australia.