Tenderness and flavor are the most significant factors affecting consumer satisfaction when it comes to meat consumption. But tender meat cuts cost a lot higher than any the tougher ones and by tenderizing the meat, consumers will be able to cook tougher cuts of meat using the same methods you would use for prime cuts. Cooking meat for a long time is a great way to make it fall-apart tender, but boiling meat to tenderize needs extensive effort and makes flesh dry.
Meat can be tenderized using two ways, the first one is natural tenderizing which will be achieved upon the biological processes taking place on the source of the meat, pre-determined on its cut, animal’s age, heredity (or gene arrangement), diet, marbling, slaughter condition, aging, and rigor mortis. On the other hand, artificial tenderizing includes using of enzymes, electrical stimulation, mechanical tenderization and application of acids and salts such as nitrates and nitrites. (Brown, 2015) Salts of nitrates and nitrites is said to be cancerous based on studies conducted by Food and Drugs Administration of the United States since it produces a compound called nitrosamine which is formed when the amine from protein is bonded to the nitrous acid from these salts.
Enzymatic meat tenderizers vary from the kind of proteolytic enzyme contained, papain from papayas, bromelain from pineapples, ficin from figs, trypsin from animal pancreas and rhyozime P-11 from fungi injected to meat cuts to attain desired tenderness. (Brown, 2015) Proteolytic enzyme from plant sources has been used for several years to tenderize meat. Thus, it was necessary for enzyme to penetrate meat before the cooking process began, since too much heat can cause the rate of an enzyme catalyzed reaction to decrease because the enzyme or substrate becomes denatured and inactive and commercially prepared meat tenderizers in more advanced supermarkets consists mainly and simply papain from papaya obtained from other country which is processed in the USA and exported to the Philippines. Since commercially available meat tenderizers tend to be pricy and some household cannot afford to produce one they use fresh pineapple or papaya fruit instead of meat tenderizers. Some uses freshly picked jackfruit leaves as tenderizing agent.
Enzymes are biological catalysts that are important to all living things due to the continuous-controlled chemical activities in cells, this increases the rate of a chemical reaction by lowering the activation energy without being altered or consumed in the reaction (Ball, 2011). There is different enzyme to different corresponding substrate to react with and named after the change and process it is undertaking, lipases hydrolyses lipid, amylases hydrolyses starches, reductases reduces sugars and others and another is protease or proteolytic enzymes which refer to the various enzymes that digest (break down into smaller units) protein causing denaturation or coagulation. The proteolytic action of the enzymes are responsible for the relaxation of meat cuts after rigor mortis, this enzyme cleaves apart the muscle fiber proteins and connective tissue of meat internally breaking down the protein within muscle fibrils making meat tender by hydrolysis in a manner similar to that of digestion which makes food more absorbable (Brown, 2015).
Jackfruit leaves produces milky latex with the same consistency with papaya latex which is used the in preparation of papain powder. The latex from papaya leaves is permitted to harden and dried, then ground and extracted in water. The enzyme is precipitated by adding 10 parts of alcohol, re-dissolved in water, precipitated and dried in vacuum. Although there is still no scientific study on the meat tenderization aid of jackfruit leaves. This study aims to produce organic meat tenderizing agent using jackfruit leaves as a substitute to papaya while eliminating risk of cancer to meat consumers.