2014 Volume 51 Issue 2 Pages 206-212
The aim of this study was to test the effect of different sodium bicarbonate concentrations on marination performances and meat quality properties. A total of 203 samples were obtained from an homogenous batch of 24 h post mortem chicken breast meat and were subjected to vacuum tumbling in a sodium chloride solution (1.0% wt/w in final product), containing 7 different sodium bicarbonate concentrations from 0 to 0.5%. Meat pH after marination linearly responded with about 0.17 pH unit increase per 0.1% unit addition of bicarbonate. The largest marinade uptake (11.4%) was observed in samples tumbled with 0.30% bicarbonate solution, while the uptake was levelled off, thereafter higher concentrations (0.40 and 0.50%). Cook loss showed a decreasing trend with the increase of bicarbonate level by estimating a 1.8% decrease for 0.10% of bicarbonate addition. Overall appearance of meat was not changed, while the use of sodium bicarbonate was able to improve meat texture by decreasing hardness and chewiness. By using low-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (LR-NMR) analysis, it was observed that water seemed to exert a plasticizing effect on some biopolymers, so that the total LR-NMR signal fluctuations were not always proportional to the water adsorption. Finally, water gain following marination does not correspond to an increase in the freezable water amount, as detected by differential scanning calorimetry. In conclusion, this study showed that sodium bicarbonate is a superior marinating agent and greater marination performances are obtained when using a concentration no higher than 0.3%.