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Table 1 Partial summary for the impact of different exogenous proteases on meat tenderness

From: Techniques for postmortem tenderisation in meat processing: effectiveness, application and possible mechanisms

Classification Sources Name Characteristics and tenderising effects References
Plant-derived enzyme   Papain Broad range of substrate specificity, and high inactivation temperature (90 °C) and optimal temperature (65 °C)
High proteolysis ability to myofibrillar protein
The proteolysis ability to connective tissue is relatively weaker than bromelain/ficin
Significant tenderising effect, but easy to produce paste and overly soft texture
Abdel-Naeem & Mohamed 2016;
Bekhit et al. 2014;
Maqsood et al. 2018
Plant-derived enzyme   Bromelain Optimum proteolytic activity (pH 5–7, 50 °C)
Proteolysis activity: stem-derived < fruit-derived
Lower selectivity to actin than papain
Higher levels of hydrolysis in myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins and better flavor than papain
Kim & Taub 1991; Xu et al. 2020
Plant-derived enzyme   Ficin Broad range of substrate specificity and optimum pH is dependent on substrate concentration
Higher degradation to collagen than matrix substrate
Maqsood et al. 2018
Plant-derived enzyme Actinidia arguta Actinidin Optimal activity at 58–62 °C and low influence on sensory
The hydrolysability to beef: commercial actinidin > other plant-derived enzymes
Effectively tenderise tissue and decompose actomyosin
Ha et al. 2012; Wang, Liu, et al. 2016
Plant-derived enzyme Ginger rhizome Zingibain Higher specificity to collagen than actomyosin
Degradation on Troponin-T, α-actinin and desmin
Decrease in shear force and increase in MFI
Reduction in myofibrillar fragment length
Cruz et al. 2020;
Tsai et al. 2012
Microbe-derived enzymes Alkalophilic Bacillus YaB Alkaline elastase Optimum activity (pH 5.5–6.0, 10–50 °C)
The dissociation amount of elastic tissue is much higher than that of papain and bromelain
Low hydrolysis activity to MP at low pH; mild tenderisation
Combination with papain to avoid over-tenderisation
Yeh et al. 2002
Microbe-derived enzymes Clostridium histolyticum Collagenase Collagen solubility: collagenase > papain, bromelain, ficin
Low proteolysis to salt-soluble protein
Foegeding & Larick 1986
Microbe-derived enzymes Rhizomucor miehei Aspartic protease Broad range of substrate specificity
Positive correlation with tenderness under a certain range of concentration and optimum activity at 50 °C
PSE texture under exorbitant concentration
Sun et al. 2018
Animal-derived enzymes   Placental protease Hydrolyse collagen, and target connective tissue Phillips et al. 2000
Animal-derived enzymes   Porcine pancreatin Degrade myosin, stretch sarcomere length and decompose collagen fibres Pietrasik et al. 2010