Why meat must age
After slaughter, various biochemical processes take place inside the meat. Due to the absence of oxygen, anaerobic glycolysis is the first to take place, which causes rigor mortis. The soft muscle meat hardens and has low water binding qualities. Only after this phase, the enzymatic aging begins, which progresses, so far after ca. 8 days, that the meat fibres begin to soften again. The duration of the meat maturing process depends on the sex, age and the breed of the animal.
The meat can continue to mature for up to 8 weeks, in order to intensify its flavour. By the way pork and poultry also need to undergo this process, although these meats mature faster. They need only 2-3 days for their meat to soften. The chances that dangerous bacteria such as salmonella builds up is much higher in these meats. For this reason, they should not mature for too long.