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Studies on the rehydration of irradiated freeze-dried beef Ni, Yeng-Wei

Abstract

The total water uptake, rate of water uptake, extract release volume and maximum shear force were measured on a series of samples of irradiated freeze-dried beef. Forty seven pieces of round steak (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 10.4 cm or 1" x 1" x 4") were irradiated at one, three and five megarad. The control samples were not irradiated. Half of the samples were irradiated when fresh, and the other half were irradiated after freeze drying. This procedure has been defined as the "fresh-dry" irradiation sequence throughout the report. The samples were frozen in an air blast at two temperatures (-22.2°C and -56.1°C). Freeze-drying was carried out below 300 microns of Hg and a maximum shelf temperature of 15.6°C (60°F). There appears to be three phases of water uptake: 1) A very rapid, almost instantaneous, absorption. 2) A more gradual uptake (called Part.1 in the report). 3) A relatively slow asymptotic approach to an equilibrium condition (Part 2). These two last phases are shown to be straight lines when the logarithm of the water uptake is plotted against the logarithm of the immersion time. Irradiation level has no significant effect on the final water content or on the slow asymptotic absorption (Part 2) or the extract release volume, but has a significant effect on the gradual water uptake (Part 1) and on the shear press force. Fresh-dry irradiation sequence (and freezing rate) have a significant effect on the total water uptake and on the slow asymptotic water (Part 2) uptake, but not on the gradual water uptake (Part 1), or on the extract release volume or on the shear press forces. Freezing rates have a significant effect on the total water uptake, but not on the slow asymptotic water uptake (Part 2), on the gradual water uptake (Part 1), on the extract release volume or on the shear press forces. The highest total water uptake was found for the meat irradiated when fresh, and slow frozen at -2 2.2°C. The mechanism of the gradual absorption appears to follow a phenomena of water flow, as evidenced by the straight line relationship found in the plots of logarithm water uptake versus logarithm immersion time.

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