1 Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark2 Image Analysis & Computer Graphics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark3 Statistics and Data Analysis, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark4 University of Copenhagen
The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of X-ray phase-contrast tomography combined with 3D image segmentation to investigate the heat induced structural changes in meat. The measurements were performed at the Swiss synchrotron radiation light source using a grating interferometric setup. The non-destructive method allowed the same sample to be measured before and after cooking. Heat denaturation resulted in a 36% decrease in the volume of the muscle fibers, while solubilization of the connective tissues increased the volume from 8.4% to 24.9%. The cooking loss was quantified and separated into a water phase and a gel phase formed by the sarcoplasmic proteins in the exudate. The results show that X-ray phase contrast tomography offers unique possibilities in studies both the meat structure and the different meat component such as water, fat, connective tissue and myofibrils in a qualitative and quantitative manner without prior sample preparation as isolation of single muscle components, calibration or histology.