Role of peroxidation and heme catalysis in coloration of raw meat
It is known, that lipid peroxidation is one of the main factors limiting the quality and acceptability of meat and other animal tissues. The current data conceming connection of heme and peroxidation were summarized and analysed here. The muscle food compounds that are most influenced by oxidative processes include unsaturated fatty acids of lipids, amino acids of proteins and heme groups of pigments. Heme proteins and particularly myoglobin are abundant in muscle tissues. Meat colour is primarily influenced by the concentration and Chemical State of heme pigments, myoglobin and hemoglobin. Oxygenated myoglobin oxidized to the brown metmyoglobin form and its accumulation is highly correlated with progress of lipid peroxidation. Heme proteins such as hemoglobin or myoglobin accelerate the decomposition of hydroperoxides to free radicals. Metmyoglobin possesses «pseudoperoxidase» activity and catalyzes the oxidation of various compounds following the reaction with hydrogen peroxide. The reaction between hydrogen peroxide and metmyoglobin results in the formation of two active hypervalent myoglobin species, perferrylmyoglobin (*MbFeIV=O) and ferrylmyoglobin (MbFeIV=O), which participate in lipid oxidation catalysis. Both MbFeIV=O and *MbFelV=O are deactivated in the presence of reducing agents, whose nature determines the overall effect of the pseudoperoxidase cycle. Hypothesis can be put forward that loss of cellular antioxidants might precede the rise of peroxidase-like activity, thus being a sign of incipient discoloration of meats and muscle components of foods.
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