Have you ever gone to the local butcher to purchase meat and on your way home you notice some red liquid dripping out of the meat? Have you ever been bothered if this is safe or not? is it blood? And considering the fact that zoonotic diseases could be in blood, what should you do? I am going to answer these questions in this post. So, this post is going to be short and straight to the point. This could make a lot of people extremely uncomfortable.
So, what is this red juice that drips from meat?
Let me tell you categorically that this juice is not blood. We can call this liquid a relative of haemoglobin in the blood. While haemoglobin gives the blood its red colour (due to presence of iron), myoglobin is what gives meat its dark red colour pigment.
This juice that drips out of the meat is actually water, sarcoplasm and trace amounts of myoglobin. This myoglobin also has iron it and that is why we get dark brown outside and grey inside – the iron atom is now in the +3 oxidation state. Myoglobin is not found in the blood stream of animals. The only time myoglobin is found in the bloodstream is when it is released after an animal sustains a deep muscle injury.
During slaughter, most of the blood goes out and only a small amount is left. Animals like mammals have more myoglobin and that is why they are called red meat. On the other hand animals like chicken have very small amount myoglobin, less red and hence the name “white meat”. The more myoglobin a meat has, the redder the meat.
Conclusively, this juice that comes out from fresh or raw meat is not blood. It is myoglobin and most of it are even lost when you cook the meat. It is therefore safe to consume in food.
Soon, I will write about more differences between red meat and white meat and which is better in terms of safety and the nutrient they give to out body. Some people also have concerns on whether it is safe to use the water in which the meat is being cooked for further cooking. I will answer all that soon.