How does meat tenderizer work?
No, I’m not talking about that bulky mallet. Although it gets the job done, it’s only good for one thing — pounding meat. No, I’m talking about powdered meat tenderizer. This is one of those things that seems too good to be true, but it totally works. As a substitute for brute strength, meat-tenderizing powder uses basic biochemistry to beat even your toughest meats into tender submission without the effort of using a mallet.
How does tenderizing powder work?
Much the same way enzymes in the human body help you digest food, tenderizing powder acts enzymatically to break down the rubber-like elastic fibers that make less tender cuts of meat hard to swallow. These elastic fibers, which hold the strands of muscle tissue in meat together, are made up a protein called collagen — the same protein from which gelatin is derived from. Papain — found in papaya — and bromelain, found in pineapple — are two common anti-collagen enzymes used in many of the tenderizing powders you can buy in the grocery store.