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Review article2019Peer reviewed

Effect of high pressure treatment on the color of fresh and processed meats: A review

Bak, K. H.; Bolumar, T.; Karlsson, A. H.; Lindahl, G.; Orlien, V


High pressure (HP) treatment often results in discoloration of beef, lamb, pork, and poultry. The degree of color changes depends on the physical and chemical state of the meat, especially myoglobin, and the atmospheric conditions during and after pressurization. A decreased redness is attributed to a large degree to the oxidation of the bright red oxymyoglobin or the purplish deoxymyoglobin into the brownish metmyoglobin, as well as to the denaturation of myoglobin. Surely, the high myoglobin content makes beef more exposed to this discoloration compared to the white chicken meat. In addition, HP treatment causes denaturation of myofibrillar proteins followed by aggregation, consequently, changing the surface reflectance and increasing lightness. Other intrinsic and extrinsic factors may affect the pressure-induced color changes positively or negatively. In this review, the pressure-induced color changes in meat are discussed in relation to modification of the myoglobin molecule, changes in the meat microstructure, and the impact of the presence of different chemical compounds and physical conditions during processing.


High pressure; color; myoglobin; protein; beef; pork; poultry

Published in

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
2019, Volume: 59, number: 2, pages: 228-252