Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 681–693 | Cite as

Tenderization of Yak Meat by the Combination of Papain and High-Pressure Processing Treatments

  • Yuan Ma
  • Yiping Yuan
  • Xiufang BiEmail author
  • Li Zhang
  • Yage XingEmail author
  • Zhenming Che
Original Paper


The effects of papain and high-pressure processing (HPP), applied separately or in combination, on the tenderization of yak meat were studied regarding texture, water-holding capacity (WHC), cooking loss (CL), pH, and color. When papain was used alone, both the papain concentration level and treatment time could affect the tenderization. The maximal shear force (MSF) of yak meat was decreased by 46.85% and the WHC was increased by 9.93% when 80 U/mL papain was injected into yak meat and then incubated at 55 °C for 120 min. However, the color was significantly deteriorated. When the HPP treatment was performed alone, the MSF of yak meat displayed an initial decrease followed by an increase as the processing pressure or treatment time rose. Although an improved tenderizing effect was achieved at 250 MPa/15 min, leading to a MSF decline of 49.27% and a WHC increase of 10.50%, the meat turned white. Applying treatment sequences of an HPP and papain combination can significantly influence the tenderization effect. Optimal tenderization was obtained by the injection of papain (80 U/mL) and incubation at 55 °C for 30 min followed by HPP at 50 MPa/15 min (Pap → HPP). Results from this process indicated that the MSF of yak meat was decreased by 46.30% and 50.27%, respectively, compared to the separate applications of both HPP (50 MPa/15 min) and papain (80 U/mL, 30 min) treatments. Meanwhile, no significant color change was detected. The microstructure of yak meat was analyzed following the application of different treatments. Results suggest that the meat treated with Pap → HPP exhibited larger spacing and more damaged cells than untreated meat or the sample subjected to other treatments. These findings provided a possible explanation for the specific tenderization result when exposed to the combined treatments.


Yak meat High-pressure processing Papain Tenderization 


Funding Information

This work was supported by the Industrial Cluster Cooperative Innovation Project of Chengdu Science and Technology Bureau (2016-XT00-00031-NC), the Key Project of Sichuan Provincial Department of Education (17ZA0356), the Sichuan Agricultural Science and Technology Achievement Conversion Project (16NZ0081), the Xihua University Graduate Student Innovation Fund (ycjj2018043), the Fund of Application of Infrastructure Project of Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (2016JY0114), and the Chengdu Science and Technology Bureau (2015-HM01-00337-SF).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11947_2019_2245_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 32 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sichuan Key Laboratory of Food Bio-technology, School of Food and BioengineeringXihua UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Food Non-thermal Processing, Engineering and Technology Research Center for Food Non-thermal ProcessingYibin Xihua University Research InstituteYibinChina

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