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Beef aging processes: tecnological advances to implement systems and evaluate meat quality


Aging, tenderizing of meat due to endogenous muscle enzymes present in living muscle, which assume another role after slaughter, is one of the techniques applied by most international beef industries to improve sensory perception. On the other hand, in Brazil, there are no specific protocols for the different aging processes, what causes product loss, contamination, or rejection by consumers. In the last two or three years some butchers and national restaurants began to introduce a new product to replace the traditional vacuum-packed beef, the dry aged beef. However, Brazil does not have specific legislation for this process, as well as protocols to ensure the safety and sensory quality. In the international market is it possible to find a new aging process, known as "special bag", in which beef presents characteristics as "dry aged", however with some advantages of the vacuum process. A better understanding of the aging process can bring innovations to industry and incentive interest in developing new processes to better meet the demands of consumers. Thus, the objective of this study is to evaluate the meat of zebu caUle, which represent 80% of the Brazilian cattle, under different maturation systems, controlling storage conditions as freezing, temperature and time, among others, in order to develop specific aging protocols for each type of product / market to be used by national packing plants. (AU)

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