Muscle tissue, which becomes a highly prized food, is also a specialized apparatus that allows the living animal movement. Properties associated with postmortem muscle, or meat, are entirely dependent on the unique architecture of muscle, how muscle functions, and how function is regulated. Muscle, whether skeletal, cardiac, or smooth, is a living system that is able to convert chemical energy into mechanical work. Intracellular contractile protein structures generate force through their coordinated shortening. A second and often overlooked aspect of muscle movement and work involves the transmission of force within the muscle, to the skeleton or to other muscles. The role of force transmission is usually ascribed to the extracellular connective tissue network of muscle. Knowledge of the characteristics of intracellular elements, collectively known as the muscle cytoskeleton, has added new dimensions to the understanding of force transmission in muscle. Understanding both facets of muscle function, force generation and force transmission, and the specialized structures associated with each are essential to understanding the properties of meat.
KeywordsBasal Lamina Meat Quality Thin Filament Sarcomere Length Myosin Head
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