Most of us would like to have a meat in our daily meals. Yes, of course. However, cooking meat is not a simple task, as the meat needs to be cooked entirely, to become more tender and flavorful. As a result, many people choose to buy tender meat, to be cooked very quickly. Alright! This tender meat is obtained by using some tenderizing agent. Thereby, using such tenderizer in the meat would affect the meat or not? Well, we shall discuss here. But, before that, let us know what makes a meat tender?
Every meat is made up of muscle fibres called collagen, a protein filament. Therefore, the process of tenderizing meat involves splitting the long chains of muscle and softening the collagen until it transforms into gelatin. This tender gelatin soaks in the meat, to make it tender as well as juicy.
Disadvantages of Using Meat Tenderizer:
Breaking Up of Protein Filaments:
The process of tenderizing is done by pounding or by chemical reactions. Some of the ingredients used in meat tenderizers are salt, sugar or cornstarch, but by using those ingredients provide bulkiness to the meat. Here, the active ingredient called enzyme plays a vital role in meat tenderizer.
Those enzymes are most often derived naturally, from papaya and pineapples, called papain and bromelain. These enzymes thereby soften the meat by making it tender. Also, an enzyme used in a meat tenderizer tends to denature the meat proteins. For example, papain used in meat works as a proteolytic enzyme, that splits the protein in muscle fibre so that no firmness or toughness remains back in the meat. Thus, insufficient protein can cause muscle cramps, soreness and weakness. Also, breaking up of protein filaments can produce unbalanced amino acids, leading to improper functioning of the body. Also, excess papain in meat can cause severe throat and stomach pain. And, using the raw papain enzyme or a papaya fruit is considered unsafe, as it causes irritation and skin blisters to some people.
When tender meat is cooked, the heat transformed in the meat activates the enzyme. And, if this enzyme is left on the meat for too many hours before it is cooked, it will end up causing too much tenderization. As a result, meat causes an unpleasant mushiness which destroys the meat quality. This develops a soggy texture and meat to be rotten, which isn’t appealing.
Most of the commercial meat tenderizers use monosodium glutamate, which contains a large amount of sodium. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consuming a large amount of sodium is safe, but a part of the population, especially people with asthma report with some of the side effects like nausea, headaches, flushing of the neck, etc. Also, consuming large amounts of sodium can cause high blood pressure.
Hope you understood the drawback using a meat tenderizer in the meat. It’s very clear that; the enzyme in a meat tenderizer digests protein, but the adverse truth is that we eat partially digested meat, which sounds terrible. Generally, it’s better to use a meat tenderizer with a moderate dose on the meat.