It’s a perception that many people have when they see liquid in a meat package: it must be blood. But the newest Meat MythCrusher video, featuring Gregg Rentfrow, associate extension professor - meat science at the University of Kentucky, explains it’s actually called “purge,” a combination of water and meat proteins that can drain from meat.
In the video—produced by the North American Meat Institute and American Meat Science Association—Rentfrow notes that meat is typically 75 percent water, which contributes to the juiciness of cooked meats. The proteins in meat are like a sponge that holds the water. As meat ages and is handled or cut, proteins lose their ability to hold onto water. Over time, some water is released and myoglobin, which contributes to meat’s red color, flows out with it, giving the liquid a red or pink color.
“It’s no big deal, there’s nothing wrong with a meat package that has some liquid in it,” Rentfrow says. “You should just make sure you handle everything in the package the same as you would raw meat to ensure food safety.”
Rentfrow also discusses why blood would not be found in a meat package as it is quickly removed from an animal after the animal is stunned.
The newest video is the 50th in the six-year-old series featuring interviews with meat scientists who address common questions surrounding the meat and poultry industries. Other video topics include meat nutrition, antibiotic use in livestock, “Superbugs” in meat, hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef and more.