When Cooking Sous Vide, Do Different Bags Change the Color Reading of the Spectrophotometer?

Project Abstract

Meat color changes over the course of cooking and storage. Companies for many years now have been measuring the color changes of meats when both cooking and storing over a period of time. When it comes to packaging there are two ways to measure color, through the packaging or by taking the meat out and measuring. Measuring the meat in the bag allows you to keep the process of whatever you are studying going, without ruining it by taking the meat out of the bag. The purpose of this project was to see if using different kinds of film cooking bags when cooking meat via sous vide affects the color measurement of the meat, when measuring through the packaging. We are seeing if the film changes over time and heat, or if it stays the same. I will be using a portable spectrophotometer from HunterLab. The light transmission of two types of bags (“freezer” and “storage”) from three common brands (FoodSaver™, Ziploc™, and Great Value™) will be measured at different temperatures and cooking time to see how much the package changes as it is heated. This will be done by calibrating the spectrophotometer to black and white tile standards. They will be cooked from 130 degrees to 180 degrees in 5 degree increments, and cooked from zero minutes to three hours. Once all the testing is done with just the bags themselves, we will develop a protocol for accurately measuring meat color during cooking. Then we will cook meat in the bags to see how the color of the meat reads through the bags. Through this analysis, we hope to see how exactly the different bags change the color of the meat when scanning through the bags. Then we will see which bag changes the least color wise, and has the closest color reading to the meat when it is both inside and outside the bag.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

Hutson School of Agriculture


Animal Science, Food Animal Emphasis


Bachelors of Science in Agriculture




Dr. Thomas Powell

Academic College

Hutson School of Agriculture

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