To Buy or Not to Buy: Using Objective Color Assessment in Meat Production


Posted on February 11, 2016

The Benefits of Objective Color Analysis

The color of meat is determined by the interaction with light with the surface texture of the product, as well as individual perception of the viewer. The capabilities of the human eye are highly subjective2 and can be easily altered with variations in light source, viewing angle, and personal perception. Instrumental color assessment provides an objective measurement of color which can alert production teams to any potentially contaminated products, problems with packaging materials, or storage issues. Color assessment can also be used as a tool to monitor the quality of meat, as well a way to determine the value and fair market price of meat products.

Utilizing Instrumental Analysis for Color Assessment

Changes in meat color involve the concentration of myoglobin and its response to oxidization. Various meats respond differently to these changes and the effects on color can be altered due to variations in processing, packaging, and storage. These changes are highly sensitive and require objective color assessment and continual monitoring to ensure that optimal product color is maintained.

Spectrophotometers effectively measure color by emulating human eye functioning while controlling the viewing angle and light source. Isolating these variables reduces errors in perception and enables consistent quantification of color. Continual color assessment monitors real-time changes to help avoid loss of quality and provide an alert to possible product contamination.

Getting the Most Out of Your Spectrophotometer

The USDA (Untied States Department of Agriculture) standards require color analysis instrumentation to ensure the quality and safety of meat products.3 Whether fresh or processed, refrigerated or frozen, all meats require objective color analysis to ensure that guidelines are followed and quality is guaranteed. HunterLab is a leading name is spectrophotometric technology and was the first to receive USDA approval for the evaluation of food color.

Major corporations and agricultural meat producers depend on HunterLab instrumentation to meet their color analysis needs. From large production plant monitoring to research and testing methods for creating better products, HunterLab spectrophotometers are specifically designed for use in the agricultural and meat production industries. Our team of experts is here to help you find the right instrumentation to meet standards and regulations and ensure the highest quality of product. For more information on our line of spectrophotometers, contact us today.

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