Gelation of chicken batters during heating under high pressure
Abstract The gelling process of chicken meat batters, which were heated (75 °C) under atmospheric pressure or high pressure (200/400 MPa), was investigated by determining the hardness of batter, residual denaturation enthalpy, microstructure, and protein secondary structure. The results showed that meat batters heated at 200 MPa showed a similar increase in hardness to heat-only samples, but meat batters heated at 400 MPa showed a texture decreasing tendency after a limited increase. High pressure disrupted the myofibrils, promoted protein denaturation and aggregation in the first stage of heating under pressure treatment. In the second stage of treatment, heating was the main driving force for protein gelation, which was disturbed by hindering the structural transformation of proteins in the presence of high pressure during heating. The effect of 200 MPa on muscle proteins was relatively gentle and had a less negative effect. Excessive high pressure should be avoided when applying heating under pressure for gel-type meat products processing. Industry relevance High-pressure processing is increasingly applied in the meat industry. By combining high pressure with heating, their effects on texture improvement and microbial inactivation can be maximized. In this study, the influence of high pressure on the texture of meat products was analyzed, which showed that excessive pressure would significantly interfere with the thermal denaturation of the protein, thus adversely affecting the formation of the gel structure. High pressure at 400 MPa and above should be avoided when applying heating under pressure for gel-type meat products processing.