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Old 12-28-2018, 02:20 AM   #1
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Roast cut in half. The center is much darker.

I bought a fresh Safeway eye-of-round roast and sliced it in half. Almost all the inner meat was much darker. I think that's not a bad thing, right? I think I read somewhere that it's just oxygen getting to it (not necessarily in a bad way). It wasn't on the shelf too long, and smells fresh. Just wondering because, other times I've cut a roast in half and it was red through out. Shouldn't affect the taste at all, right?

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Old 12-28-2018, 03:06 AM   #2
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Meat does oxidize as it ages. That doesn't mean it is bad meat. It doesn't surprise me that the center of the roast is darker. Like you said, it is not exposed to oxygen.

If it smells okay, I wouldn't worry about it. People pay a lot of money for "aged" beef.

I've cooked beef with some oxidation, and have not noticed a taste problem.

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Old 12-28-2018, 03:18 AM   #3
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I can understand how packaged ground beef cut in half looks darker inside. But how does a cut of roast show darker inside when the outside is so red? Nevermind. As Casey said, the roast cooks up just as fine. Butchering process?
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:55 AM   #4
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When the animal is first butchered, the meat is bright red. If you have a butcher that works slowly, the color changes slightly. Yet it is still okay to eat.

The blood that is left in the meat has moved to the outside. No problem.

How do I know this? I worked for a butcher who cut up whole sides of meat and delivered to restaurants, etc. I use to watch him working.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
When the animal is first butchered, the meat is bright red. If you have a butcher that works slowly, the color changes slightly. Yet it is still okay to eat.

The blood that is left in the meat has moved to the outside. No problem.

How do I know this? I worked for a butcher who cut up whole sides of meat and delivered to restaurants, etc. I use to watch him working.
That's not it. Blood does not move after the animal has died.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
I can understand how packaged ground beef cut in half looks darker inside. But how does a cut of roast show darker inside when the outside is so red? Nevermind. As Casey said, the roast cooks up just as fine. Butchering process?
It's a phenomenon called "dark-cutting beef," a chemical reaction that happens when the animal has been stressed before it died. Here's more detailed information:
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To understand “dark-cutting beef,” it is necessary to understand how the bright red color of beef occurs. At death, the muscle attempts to maintain all normal activities. To do so, it must have energy in the form of ATP. To get ATP, it breaks down glycogen through postmortem glycolysis. A by-product of postmortem glycolysis is lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in the muscle over a 16 to 24 hour period post-slaughter. A normal level of lactic acid (pH of 5.6) in the muscle will cause the meat to be bright cherry-red in color when it is exposed to oxygen for a short time period.

In “dark cutting beef,” the animal undergoes long-term stress before slaughter. This stress may be from transportation, rough handling, changing weather conditions such as cold fronts, or anything that causes the animal to draw on its glycogen reserves before slaughter. At death, there is limited amount of glycogen available to be converted to lactic acid, the muscle pH will be higher-than-normal (pH of 6.0 or higher), and the color of meat will be darker than normal.
I watched a demo of breaking down a half hog at our local whole-animal butcher a few years ago and he described the process.
https://meat.tamu.edu/2013/01/22/dark-cutting-beef/
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:08 PM   #7
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I tried to find out about carbon monoxide as a colour stabilizer for packaged fresh meat. I couldn't find much using internet search. It would explain the lighter colour on the outside.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:54 PM   #8
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That's not it. Blood does not move after the animal has died.
The red liquid is actually myoglobin, a protein that's only found in muscle tissue.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
It's a phenomenon called "dark-cutting beef," a chemical reaction that happens when the animal has been stressed before it died. Here's more detailed information:


I watched a demo of breaking down a half hog at our local whole-animal butcher a few years ago and he described the process.
https://meat.tamu.edu/2013/01/22/dark-cutting-beef/
Does this affect taste or anything (texture)?
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:05 PM   #10
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The beauty of working with organic materials is that things are forever changing and some times there are no explanations for certain conditions. I still come across things I have never seen even after 30 years of cutting and preparing meats..
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:06 PM   #11
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Update. The reason I noticed the dark center in the first place, was when I cut a big roast in half before freezing the halves. The center of them were almost grayish looking while the outside meat looked nice and red. Anyways, I cooked my slowly thawed half- a-roast up last night, and the center was nice and red, not dark (as when I sliced it in half to freeze). I was relieved to see that.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:29 AM   #12
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Here's an interesting article on the subject...


https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist....naturally-red/
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by luckytrim View Post
Here's an interesting article on the subject...


https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist....naturally-red/
It may be interesting, but it's misleading and promotes fear-mongering.

This article, by a professor of meat science, is more accurate:
https://meatisneat.wordpress.com/200...rbon-monoxide/
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