There is a hierarchy of structures in plants and in meat (Fig. 8.1). Meat includes a number of different tissues (Lillford, 2001). Edible muscle tissues are of interest for food use and consequently for co-product recovery. Muscle cells and fibres approximate to long, small-diameter cylinders. Fibres are surrounded by the sarcolemma comprising cell membrane overlayed with endomysial connective tissue (Aguilera and Stanley, 1990).
Cereals, vegetables and fruit are the principal plant foods in the human diet. Plants contain different tissues although only the parenchymatous tissue is generally edible. The different tissue types can, however, respond differently to environmental factors such as freezing damage in carrot tissue (Saltveit, 2003), or show different propensities for extraction - as in sugar beet (Aguilera and Stanley, 1990). Other plants are grown directly for extraction of useful commodities (e.g. sugar beet, soybean, rapeseed, sunflower) and the post-extraction cake or pomace is the source for further component recovery.
The texture and destructuring of plant tissues has its origins in two extreme modes of failure; the cells can either separate at their boundaries or break through the walls (Fig. 8.2). In practice, a combination of modes can exist (Verlinden et al., 1996). Intercellular air space is also a feature of many tissues.
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