I have written about this before. I was actually threatened with a defamation suit when I first made a statement about this on the radio in NZ.
At last I am seeing it acknowledged. The massaging of meat in order to add water and increase its weight. If properly labelled on the product, this is a legitimate practice. The advantage to the seller is more profit from selling water at beef prices.
Note the price on the label: $42 for 1.25 Kg. That is $33.60 a Kg
Note the product is labelled as 83% beef. Disregarding the additives – which will not amount to much, they are only there to ensure the water stays in the muscle fibres when the meat is cooked – that means that 17% of that piece of beef is added water. That is 212g of the cut is actually water, at a cost to the buyer of $7.14. Around $33.60 a litre! From a tap that same water costs virtually nothing. Knock off a few cents for the milk solids, sequestrants and soy etc. that were added and you still have a clear profit. Money for nothing.
There is an advantage to the consumer. The meat will be tenderised, and will be juicy. It will retain its moisture when cooked and in cold cuts or when reheating. That may be worth paying a little extra for. But how much extra?
Now that it is stated on the label, you at least have a choice whether to pay or not. You didn’t always have that option. I am pleased at last to see that manufacturers are now admitting (with a spin) that they adulterate the meat they sell.
This beef was “lightly” marinated. That is industry talk for “we haven’t screwed you as much as we could have”. It is possible to increase the yield of meat by as much as 150% by using the right additives to ensure the muscle fibres retain the water they are swollen with. So 17% is a reasonable bite don’t you think?
My advice to you is “Read the label”.
Incidentally there is no way I was paying $42 for that cut of meat. I waited until it was short dated and marked down. I paid $10.