What’s the Pink Liquid on the Backside of Meat Trays? It is Not Blood!


But actually not at all…

Imagine that I asked my butcher to get to the bottom of it.

And his answer surprised me…

I will explain to you right away what this red liquid is. Look :

No, it’s not blood!

You have probably seen it several times.

In some meat trays, there is a red liquid at the bottom.

We all think it’s blood. Logical no? Since we have red meat!

Well actually, no. This liquid is not blood.

During the slaughter and industrial cutting of animals, there is generally blood drainage.

That is to say, the animal is emptied of its blood.

And there is therefore no reason to find it in the trays.

In fact, what we see it’s myoglobin.

It looks like blood, but it isn’t.

It is a protein that is different.

Most mammals have them (cows, sheep, pigs)…

Older animals and those with more physical activity produce more.

But generally, myoglobin is less present in chicken or pork meat.

This is why we find less of it in white meats (poultry, pork, etc.).

Anyway, it is very important because it allows the transport and maintenance of oxygen in muscle cells.

It binds to iron and oxygen.

It is found in the heart and the muscles attached to the skeleton.

Why isn’t it blood?

frozen meat in a yellow tray

You should know that meat is essentially composed of water: up to 75%.

The meat is often put in the freezer, to facilitate its preservation, whether before marketing or at home.

This is when ice crystals form.

These crystals break down muscle cells.

It is after this process of freezing/thawing myoglobin is released.

I explain to you.

When you thaw the meat, the crystals also thaw.

Water then forms and mixes with the proteins.

It then escapes from the meat.

It’s this mix that looks like blood.

Exposed to air, this liquid turns red because it contains iron.

It is for this reason that we find small absorbent towels in the trays.

Is this liquid dangerous for health?

A piece of red meat in a frying pan

I reassure you right away.

This red liquid is not not dangerous.

It can therefore be consumed without risk.

It is part of the animal’s organism.

And his presence is completely normal and indispensable.

It is also rich in iron.

And when cooked, it pulls on the browns.

Your turn…

And you, did you also think it was blood? Tell us in the comments. We can’t wait to read you!

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Also to discover:

11 Chef’s Tricks To Tenderize Meat (And Make It Tender).

3 Tips To Properly Defrost Your Meat SAFELY.

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