ANALYSIS OF CHANGES OF THE HISTOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF HAM MUSCLES AS AFFECTED BY CURING AND THERMAL TREATMENT
 
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Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2007;57(2):227–232
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ABSTRACT
The objective of the presented study was to assess the dynamics of changes of the histological parameters of the following two pork muscles:: the semimembranosus muscle (musculus semimembranosus) and the quadriceps muscle of the thigh (musculus quadriceps femoris) under the influence of curing, massaging and pasteurisation processes with the assistance of the computer image analysis. The analysis of the muscle structure was conducted on the basis of: the surface and circumference of muscle fibres, Feret’s H and V diameter, percentage proportion of muscle fibres and their quantity in the analyzed field of view. The fibre shape was determined on the basis of the H/V ratio. It was found that the quadriceps muscle of the thigh exhibited greater dynamics of changes of the structure elements in comparison with the semimembranosus muscle under the influence of injection and plasticizing processes. The injection of ham muscles resulted in the loosening of muscle fibres, rounding of their contours as well as in the increase of their cross section area. The pasteurisation process failed to cause changes in the structure of the quadriceps muscle of the thigh, whereas in the semimembranosus muscle, pasteurisation increased the cross section area and circumference of muscle fibres and their percentage proportion in the examined field of view in comparison with the massaged muscle. The applied pasteurisation process was found to even out cell dimensions and to decrease inter-cellular spaces in both of the examined muscles.
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