iridescent meat!

Have you ever noticed the metallic colors on meat? or ham? or raw beef? If you have not seen it, take a good look at the beef on refrigerator shelf, when you are shopping in a supermarket next time. Or, you can check the pictures on this site to see the details of the colorful meat. The picture on the left is the micrograph of a piece of raw beef under optical microscope. The green-yellowish areas are showing the metallic colors. Also, the beautiful background picture of this website is what the colorful area on a slice of ham looks like under optical microscope.


Hey~ Don't be afraid of that strange colors on your ham or beef. It's OK! It's not spoiled or contaminated or colonized by bacteria. That's a pretty normal phenomenon on the cross section of muscle tissue. As you know, hams are cooked skeleton muscle of pigs, and beef is the skeleton muscle tissue of the bulls. Those colors are sometimes called "iridescent color" or "structural color" or "metallic color" or "rainbow color".

Why does your ham look like this? If you google it, you will find various explanations on this color and not a single of them is supported by any experimental data! That's why I choose this as my research project. Read this website and you will find out the answer! :)


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