Meat Tenderizing Could Be a Blast

A new tenderizing process gives meatpackers a unique way of tenderizing meat, particularly the tougher, lower-fat cuts. Following vacuum packaging, the sealed meat packages are suspended in a stainless steel tank of water and are subjected to a supersonic pressure shock wave from a small explosive charge. That energy, as it passes through the meat, causes microscopic tears in its structure. The result: tenderness without changing the meat's appearance, texture, or flavor, says Stanford Klapper, president, Hydrodyne Inc., San Juan, Puerto Rico. In addition, the company reports strong indications that the process destroys harmful microorganisms; studies at the Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) are underway. The tenderizing process itself has been tested by the USDA, and the Dept. of Energy provided a grant for the fabrication of a prototype operation in Buena Vista, Va. The company is partnering with Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., to provide turn key installation and maintenance of the process for meatpackers.

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