French scientists have published a study examining the effect of high pressure and salt on pork meat quality, concluding that by adding small amounts of salt can make it possible to produce consumable pressurised pork products.
The researchers, based in Nantes, used a pork biceps muscle and added 0%, 1.5%, and 3% salt and placed it through a high-pressure treatment (500 MPa, 20 °C, 6 min).
The Warner-Bratzler shear force and the water holding capacity (WHC) were assessed and linked to the microstructure evaluation by Environmental Scanning Electronic Microscopy (ESEM), a device similar to the sort that produces the highly detailed pictures of insects and bacteria through a gold coating process. Pressure-treated and cooked samples showed a high Warner-Bratzler shear force with a low water holding capacity compared to control cooked samples. These negative effects could be correlated to the general shrinkage seen in the structure of the meat by ESEM.
The addition of 1.5% salt was sufficient to improve the technological properties of the high-pressure-treated samples and to counteract the negative effect of high pressure on texture and water holding capacity.
This study states that it is possible to produce pressurized pork products of good eating quality by adding limited salt levels.
Source: Journal of Food Science