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My first guess was "oxidation". Googling that I found a lot of results. Here is one blurb about 'Meat Flavor Deterioration': MFD is initiated during processing procedures such as grinding, cutting, freezing, tumbling, massaging, and/or cooking. Iron liberated from meat pigments catalyzes oxidative degradation of highly unsaturated lean tissue ...


When you buy a burger from a fast food restaurant you are buying a product that has been engineered to provide absolute consistency, be very fast to cook, and be as cheap as possible so it can be offered at a low price for a reasonable profit. The grill marks are engineered in, and they are given coatings which will give the right appearance when cooked. ...

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