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What is that red liquid in red meat packages from the grocery store?

What is that red liquid in red meat packages from the grocery store?
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If you are always grossed out by the "blood" in red meat packagings, you should know that the red liquid isn't actually what you think it is! That icky red liquid is actually a protein called myoglobin. 

According to Wikipedia, Myoglobin is an iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in the skeletal muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals. Its main purpose is to store and transport oxygen in the muscles. This is why animals with large amounts of myoglobin fall in the category of "red meats" such as beef while those with less myoglobin are "white meat" - poultry, pork and seafood. 

So, that red liquid you see is in fact a combination of myoglobin and water. Blood is actually removed during the processing of commercial meat production. Heat is a factor when it comes to the color of myoglobin, the more heat the more the color will turn grayish. Therefore, when the meat is cooked for less time it can still retain some redness. 

This also explains why some packaged meat turn brown. When exposed to air myoglobin starts to get darker and it could be a good indicator of your meat's freshness. If your meat has turned brown, it could mean it has been exposed to oxygen and you should check if it's still fresh. 

So next time you are having a rare steak, you should know that you are not consuming blood but myoglobin! It seems like some people are even drinking it! 

Did you know the red liquid is not blood? Do you eat a lot of red meat? 

Source: Tip Hero · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

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