Masters Theses


Nazif Anil

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Melvin R. Johnston

Committee Members

Jimmie L. Collins, Curtis C. Melton


There is a close relationship between pH and water-holding capacity of meat. Ammonia is a Lewis-type base. When meat is exposed to ammonia its pH increases, conse-quently water-holding capacity and tenderness improve. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the effect of ammonia on water-holding capacity and tenderness of beef muscle. Two inch cubes of meat were treated with 10 milliliters of liquid ammonia in a pressure cooker at 0° and 25°F for 72 hours. The effects of treatments were determined by measuring pH, penetration depth of ammonia, percent free water content and shear force of meat. Tenderness and color was also determined by organoleptic evaluation. The experimental results indicated that ammonia increased the bound water content, hence improved tenderness. The second layer, in all samples and at all temperatures, had more bound water and was the most tender. The outer layer, where the pH content was much higher than the other layers, retained less water than the second layer. A small amount of ammonia penetrated into the third layer, therefore, its percent free water was close to that of the control. There was no significant effect on color of the samples by ammonia.

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