Composition of lean meat
lean meat is composed of the muscles of the animal. Approximately it is 70 per cent water, 20 per cent protein, and 10 per cent fat. The protein is composed of connective tissue, which is a tough, fibrous substance that forms tendons, and holds the muscle-cells in place. Chemically, connective tissue is formed of albuminoids, which were discussed in lesson iv. These substances are somewhat difficult to digest, and are not of very great importance in the human body, as they cannot take the place of true proteid in tissue-formation. The percentage of connective tissue in flesh depends upon the cut of the meat. As every housewife knows, the cheapest cuts of meat contain a larger amount of this material. The gelatin of commerce is a manufactured product derived from the connective tissue of animals. Other forms of protein are globulin and myosin, which form the actual muscle-substance. These elements form perhaps three-fourths of the entire proteid of the animal, and are the most valuable substances of flesh food. A very small portion of meat proteins is formed by the free albumins of the blood, which are mechanically retained in the muscle-cells, the purpose of which is the nourishment of the animal, and therefore are not unwholesome as food.
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