An Explanation of Subsurface Optical Pathways through Food Myosystems and their Effect on Colorimetry


  • Howard James Swatland University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada



Light may pass along and across the long axes of muscle fibers in any food myosystem. Thus, incident light may be scattered in several ways before some of it reappears at the surface as diffuse reflectance.  Pathways may be short if scattering is strong, or long if scattering is weak. Short pathways minimize selective absorbance by chromophores such as myoglobin, while long pathways maximize selective absorbance.  Many food myosystems exhibit a post-mortem decrease in pH caused by anaerobic glycolysis with a series of microstructural changes – glycogen granules between myofibrils are lost, myofibrils shrink laterally as myofilaments move closer together, water moves from within myofibrils to the space between them, muscle fiber membranes leak and lose their electrical capacitance, and myoglobin is flushed into the fluid filled spaces between muscle fibers. These changes increase scattering of light passing across the long axes of muscle fibers.  Scattering of light along muscle fibers is caused by sarcomere discs (A-bands).  Interference from one or a small number of sarcomere discs may cause iridescence, but in most cases interference from numerous discs causes achromatic diffuse reflectance. Commission International de l’Éclairage (CIE) chromaticity coordinates were calculated for various subsurface optical pathways. Pathways across versus along muscle fibers had a strong effect on CIE y (r = 0.84, P < 0.01) and an even stronger effect on CIE Y% (r = 0.95, P < 0.005).


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How to Cite

Swatland, H. J. (2021). An Explanation of Subsurface Optical Pathways through Food Myosystems and their Effect on Colorimetry. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences, 9(4).