There is a common experience that we all have, whenever we go to a local butcher to buy meat. After buying the fresh meat, on your way back, you will notice some red liquid or rather fluid dripping out of the meat. Have you had that experience before? I myself have had it severally.
Have you ever given a second thought as to whether that red liquid/fluid is safe or not? Is it blood or what? Considering the fact that animal diseases could be in blood, is it safe?
What actually then is that red liquid/fluid?
Let me start by saying categorically that the red fluid that drips from fresh red meat is NOT BLOOD.
This liquid can be likened to haemoglobin in human blood, and it contains a red pigment as well called Myoglobin.
Just like haemoglobin gives the human blood its red colour (due to the presence of iron), myoglobin gives meat its dark red colour pigment.
This liquid or fluid as you may like to call it, that drips out of the meat is actually contain water, sarcoplasm and trace amounts of myoglobin. Just like haemoglobin, this myoglobin also contains iron which is responsible for the dark brown colour of meat at the outside and grey colour inside.
It is important to note that Myoglobin is not found in the blood stream of animals. It is only when an animal sustains a deep muscle injury that myoglobin is found in the blood stream of animals.
When animals are slaughtered, most of the blood goes out and only a small amount is left. Animals like mammals (cattles, goats, sheep etc) have more myoglobin and that is why they are called red meat.
On the other hand, animals like chicken have very little small amount of myoglobin , and that is why they are less red and hence called “white meat”.
That is to say that, the more myoglobin a meat has, the more red the meat is.
In conclusion therefore, the liquid or fluid that drips from fresh red meat is not blood but rather it is myoglobin and most of it are lost when you cook the meet.
Therefore, it is safe to consume when cooked in food.
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