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February 27, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(9):744. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570350038016

The bright red which is exhibited by good meat is due in part to the oxyhemoglobin of the blood remaining in it, together with the comparable red pigment which is inherent in the muscle itself, even when it is completely freed from blood. A familiar effect of cooking meat is the pronounced change in color which it undergoes from the application of heat. The reddish tinge changes to a dull brown owing to the disintegration of the oxyhemoglobin, with the liberation of a protein component along with its color-producing group, hematin. A similar alteration is sometimes brought about when meats are cured with ordinary salt brine. Meats preserved in this way or by the application of heat alone, as in the canned meat industry, therefore assume an appearance quite unlike that of the flesh in its raw state.

On the other hand, it is a familiar fact that many meat

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