Recent Updates in Meat Color Research: Integrating Traditional and High-Throughput Approaches

Ranjith Ramanathan, Melvin C. Hunt, Richard A. Mancini, Mahesh N. Nair, Morgan L. Denzer, Surendranath P. Suman, Gretchen G. Mafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Deviation from a bright cherry-red color of fresh meat results in less consumer acceptance and either discounted or discarded products in the value chain. Tissue homeostasis changes immediately after exsanguination, leading to acidification of muscle. Any alteration in pH drop can influence both muscle structure and enzymatic activity related to oxygen consumption and the redox state of myoglobin. This review focuses on both fundamental and applied approaches to understand the effects of pH on biochemical changes, oxygen diffusion, and its impact on meat color. Recent updates utilizing high-throughput “omics” approaches to elucidate the biochemical changes associated with high-pH meat are also discussed. The fundamental aspects affecting fresh meat color are complex and highly interrelated with factors ranging from live animal production to preharvest environmental issues, muscle to meat conversion, and numerous facets along the merchandising chain of marketing meat to consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalMeat and Muscle Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Ramanathan, et al.


  • high-pH meat
  • meat color
  • meat quality
  • meat wastage
  • myoglobin
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science


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