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Marinating beef? Consider red wine.

Marinating beef? Consider red wine

One way not only to tenderize but also to season tough cuts of meat is to marinate them. Many of the most popular Western marinades rely on wine or vinegar as the tenderizer, whereas oriental marinades are more likely to use soy sauce or sodium bicarbonate. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients contain tannins or sulfur dioxide or are alkaline--factors that can destroy thiamine. But a new study by researchers at Hawkesbury Agricultural College in Richmond, Australia, shows that the presence or absence of these anti-thiamine agents does not necessarily determine whether a tenderizer will affect a meat's thiamine content.

For example, though red wine contains thiamine-threatening tannins, in the Australian study it proved as benign as the distilled water used for a control. The researchers, who report their work in the July/August JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, suspect the wine's slight acidity prevented the tannins from acting on the vitamin. Though white wine is also acidic, it was most damaging to thiamine, destroying between 50 and 75 percent. Unlike the red wine, the white wine contained sulfur dioxide as a preservative, and thiamine destruction proved proportional to the amount of sulfur dioxide used. Alkaline sodium bicarbonate reduced thiamine by 55 percent, and soy sauce reduced it by 44 percent. The effect of soy sauce also came as somewhat of a surprise, the researchers say, since this acidic tenderizer lacks both tannins and sulfur dioxide.

While beef is not an especially rich source of this essential vitamin, it contributes about a third of the daily thiamine intake in the United States.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 30, 1986
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