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This question already has an answer here:

And why does acid make the meat softer?

marked as duplicate by logophobe, Erica, Community Jul 20 '18 at 20:50

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This is a duplicate question but think about the enzymes; the acids break down protein in meats to smaller sizes and therefore easier to fall apart. A good comparison is what your stomach does to food, the longer the brine etc. penetrates the meat the more tender it will be (within reason of course).

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    If it's a duplicate, there's no need to post an answer here - the answers on the previous question would cover it. If there's something that you think is missing there, please add it there. – Cascabel Jul 19 '18 at 22:46

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