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Hydrodyne process

Pronounced /ˈhaɪdrəʊˌdaɪn ˈprəʊsɛs/Help with pronunciation

If a report of this had not appeared in so reputable a source as the Scientific American, and had not been confirmed by various news articles, I would not have thought it was genuine, it sounds so unlikely.

The hydrodyne process is a novel method of tenderising meat, especially beef, that avoids the need to hang joints in cold stores for weeks at a time. The boned joints are sealed in vacuum packs and hung in a thick-walled tank of water. A small explosive charge equivalent to about four ounces of dynamite is then set off. The shock wave pounds the meat and tenderises it in less than a second, reportedly without affecting the flavour. It also seems to kill some of the bacteria that would otherwise eventually spoil the meat. The process is being commercially developed by a subsidiary of the Halliburton Company and is expected to be available by the end of 1998.

It would seem the name was coined by the inventor of the process, John Long, from hydro- “water”, and -dyne, a suffix from the Greek word for power that has been used on occasion to form technical terms, the best-known of which are probably heterodyne and dyne itself, the unit of force in the old CGS system.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 28 Feb. 1998

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-hyd1.htm
Last modified: 28 February 1998.