The color of meat may change slightly with age, and consumers associate the „correct“ color with freshness and quality. For example, tuna slightly reddens or „blooms“ in storage,
but this redness is transient. Consumers accept this natural redness and associate it with good quality tuna. Special treatment of the meat with carbon monoxide mimics this bloom effect, while
stabilizing the flesh. Overtreatment, however, causes the redness to persist through the normal stages of decomposition, no longer acting as an indicator of quality and freshness. Measuring the color of the meat during treatment indicates when the process is complete versus overdone.
Meat portions have several non-uniform characteristics that require compensating
preparation and presentation techniques in order to ensure a repeatable sample measurement.
The sample surface is directional and irregular, requiring the averaging of several
readings with replacement. Meat is moist, and care must be taken that moisture does not enter the instrument optics. A glass-covered port eliminates this problem.
Recommended Color Scale
CIE L*a*b* as a full color descriptor
D65/10°. C/2° may also be used.
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