by Peter Török
Yesterday we submitted our first paper on food research to Journal of Food Engineering entitled “Tenderising effect of sodium bicarbonate on pork loin”. The paper is based on the work Xiao Liu Chu has done on comparing the effect of sodium bicarbonate with sodium chloride solution (brine). The authors are XL Chu, P. Török, C. Paterson, Tom Aikens. Here is the abstract of the paper:
“We investigated the effect of a 3% concentration solution of sodium bicarbonate (treatment A) and pure sodium bicarbonate (treatment B) on pork loin samples. These were compared to a 5% salt brine (treatment C), controls consisting of tap water (treatment D), and untreated samples (treatment E). The effect of the treatments was investigated by measuring weight change at 30-minute intervals during marinating (treatment A and C), the changes in cooking loss after heating at 60˚C (treatment A – C) and the relative mechanical load (N) (treatment A and C).
Pork loin samples under treatment A experienced a (50 ± 14) % higher increase in weight after 390 minutes of marinating as compared to treatment D. This suggests an increase in water holding capacity. The result of heating pork samples subjected to treatments A and B showed a significantly smaller cooking loss than the controls, losing (39 ± 7) % and (33 ± 10) % less in weight, respectively. This implies that sodium bicarbonate caused the meat to better retain water. The mechanical testing showed that meat fibers from treatment A required a smaller force to cut compared to treatment D. Altogether, our study shows that sodium bicarbonate causes a change to the texture and the water content of meat.”