Acta Vet. Brno 2019, 88: 487-496

Cooking of meat: effect on texture, cooking loss and microbiological quality – a review

František Ježek1, Josef Kameník2, Blanka Macharáčková2, Kateřina Bogdanovičová2, Jiří Bednář2

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Meat Hygiene and Technology, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Gastronomy, Brno, Czech Republic

Received October 4, 2019
Accepted November 26, 2019

Cooking can positively affect meat tenderness, on the other hand, the heat treatment also causes weight loss. The resulting tenderness of cooked meat is influenced by the background toughness of fresh meat, by the post mortem ageing process and by the method of cooking. In the case of heat treatment, the temperature and duration of action play a key role. In this respect, the meat tenderness depends on the type of appliance used for cooking. The cooking loss of meat during heat treatment is caused by contraction of muscle fibres and intramuscular connective tissue, the intensity of which also depends on the temperature and device used. The extent of this contraction increases with increasing temperature. Cooking of meat is considered the most effective way of eliminating microorganisms causing food-borne diseases. The recommended combination of temperature and time of 70 °C for 2 min reduces the number of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria by more than 6 log. This temperature is not, however, always attained with the use of many meat cooking methods, such as grilling or frying. This presents the risk of survival of food-borne agents. The latest knowledge indicates that, in the case of cross contamination, the population of food-borne agents is of the order of 1–2 log CFU/cm2 or g. If they do not multiply as a result of a higher environmental temperature, the population of pathogenic bacteria present is then reliably eliminated during adequate cooking, either entirely or to an amount that does not suffice to induce illness.


This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture (grant QK1920190).


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