Textural differences can be related to connective tissue properties as well as aging potential. Buffalo breeds have high collagen content, low collagen solubility and a tough texture.
The collagen content was 10-13% of total protein. Connective tissue in the buffalo meat had a bigger contribution to toughness.
The total concentration of connective tissue components were not closely related to the scores for muscles fiber tenderness.
Tenderness is highest in meat from very young animals but subsequently declines with age and physical activity, along with an increase in the amount of collagen and its degree of complexity.
The collagen content increased significantly with advancing age of the male Murrah buffaloes. A hydroxyproline content of 0.12% was recorded in high protein diet fed young male buffaloes.
The muscles from young buffaloes of 1 to 2 years showed less collagen (0.91 to 1.71 g/100g) than from 12 old buffaloes (1.16 to 2.23 g/100g).
During the growth and development of meat animals, covalent cross-links increase in number and collagen fibers become progressively stronger. Therefore, meat from older animals, tends to be tougher than meat from the same region of younger animals.
The water solubility of collagen under the action of heat decreases gradually with increasing age, with the result that the meat progressively becomes less tender.
Collagen content in meat