Dehydration

a. General. Examine the product for a dried or porous surface or a dark color. These may indicate dehydration.

b. Definition. Dehydration is a loss of water from the product, usually due to improper storage conditions.

c. Appearance in a Nonfrozen Product. Dehydration in a nonfrozen product results in a dried-out (dry, shrunken) appearance of the surface, usually accompanied by a darkening of the product. The darkening is due to an accumulation of solid matter.

d. Appearance in a Frozen Product. Dehydration (freezer burn) in a frozen product is evidenced by a porous texture, whereby the tissue becomes tough and fibrous. When this condition exists, protein denaturation normally occurs. The abnormal color may range from white to pale amber in affected areas and may appear as patchlike areas. The affected product will retain its original shape. A discussion of freezer burn may be found in paragraph 1-13.

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