Oxidation-reduction potential, Biology

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How the Oxidation-reduction potential influence the spoilage of meat?

You learnt earlier that the presence or absence of oxygen and the 0-R potential of the food itself has a bearing on the type of organism which grows on a particular food. In the case of meat, after slaughter, he oxygen stored in the muscle gets reduced bringing down the oxidation reduction potential, while at the same time, it is higher at the surface of the meat. This condition is favorable to aerobic bacteria, yeasts and moulds while the internal conditions still being anaerobic, favours the growth of anaerobic bacteria. Under he anaerobic conditions, both the anaerobes and facultative anaerobes cause putrefaction. Putrefaction, as you know already, refers to the decomposition of oods due to microbial action. This is generally due to the growth of Clostridium spp. within the tissue, with the release of decomposition products like mercaptans, hydrogen sulphides, ammonia etc. The organism which is predominant in the decomposition of protein under anaerobic conditions is the Clostridium perfringens, which incidentally is a food borne disease causing organism. Under he aerobic conditions, apart .from bacteria, yeasts and moulds also grow on meat. The growth of a particular microorganism depends on temperature, moisture and other conditions. The organisms principally responsible for the spoilage of meat are bacteria of the genera Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Micrococcus. The other common bacteria include Cornybacterium, Escherichia and Aerobactel.


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