Different preblend water contents at a constant ionic strength were investigated to determine if increasing water availability would increase protein solubility and water retention in meat preblends. Four salt levels (0, 2, 4 and 8%) and four water levels (0, 20, 40 and 80% formulation water) were used with ground bovine semimembranosus muscle that had been frozen once. Ground muscle was mixed with either NaCl alone (0% formulation water) or NaCl and brine (20, 40 and 80% formulation water) for the 2, 4 and 8% NaCl treatments. Distilled water was used for the 0% NaCl treatment. The mixtures were stored at 5°C for 12 h. Following storage, the water/brine content was standardized, and protein solubility and water retention were measured. Elevating the water content of preblends, in which the salt concentration had been standardized, increased the water retained during centrifugation (P < 0·05). Although not statistically significant, a similar trend was observed for protein solubility. Four percent NaCl produced the greatest protein dissolution and water retention. © 1990.
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