Color of Fresh Meat: The Basics

Color of Fresh Meat: The Basics

Christopher R. Raines

Penn State Meatisneat

The color of fresh meat is considered one of the most influential factors related to fresh meat purchasing decisions.  To many consumers, it can be a troubling thing, to go to the self-serve retail meat case and see one steak that is a bright, cherry-red color (packaged on a tray and wrapped in film) and right beside it is a dull, purple appearing steak (packaged in vacuum).  Why the color difference? Even if those two steaks were cut from the same loin, they can appear very differently.

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