The Men Behind Exploding Meat

Before John Long applied his expertise to the problem, people tried many ways to make meat more tender — chewing it, pounding it, soaking it in enzymes.

The report, Hydrodyne Exploding Meat Tenderness, published in 1998 by the US department of agriculture (USDA), describes Long’s act of creation as “a peacetime use for explosives”.

“Throughout John Long’s career as a mechanical engineer, he worked with explosives at Lawrence Livermore [National Laboratory]. His mission: preparing the Nation’s defence. He always wondered if the explosives he studied could be used for peaceful ends — like tenderising meat. Then, after more than 10 years of retirement and long after the Cold War’s end, he began pursuing the Hydrodyne concept in earnest”….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian

Here’s an image from Hydrodyne Exploding Meat Tenderness, showing Morse Solomon, who teamed up with John Long (see the article for details), and a different colleague standing near a meat explosion chamber:

BONUS: Morse Solomon’s study “Quality characteristics of jerky made from hydrodynamic pressure processed (HDP) chevon [goat] and beef

BONUS:  “Post-Harvest Practices for Enhancing Beef Tenderness“, prepared for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.