The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of different salt addition treatment on the cooking loss, tenderness and water distribution of Tan sheep. Cooking loss, shear force were mesured and T2 relaxation properties of water molecules by low-field NMR technology were assayed in the different treatment, the correlation among these indexes and changes of water distribution in Tan sheep with different cooking time treatment were also discussed. The results show: both cooking loss and shear force significantly increase at first and then decrease (P<0.05) as cooking time goes on. LF-NMR detects four distinct water populations which represent four presence status of water in meat: weakly bound water, strongly bound water, immobilized water and free water. Extending the cooking time, the relaxation time firstly extends and then reduces, the proportion of immobilized water firstly decreases and then increases, the content of free water firstly increases and then decreases. NMR images show that sample brightness changes from bright to weak as cooking time goes on. Correlation analysis shows that there is a significant positive correlation between cooking loss and T23, T24, and the correlation coefficient were 0.966, 0.994, a same correlation between shear force and T23 too, the correlation coefficient was 0.846, and a significant negative correlation between shear force and peak area fraction of T23, the correlation coefficient was -0.504. These results indicate that different cooking time significantly affects the cooking loss, shear force and water distribution of Tan sheep, also, a significant correlation among these indexes.

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