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Validating the benefits of a medium voltage electrical stimulation unit at an abattoir in Western Australia

Jacob, R.H., Pearce, K.L., Smith, N.
Animal production science 2008 v.48 no.6-7 pp. 898-903
lambs, lamb meat, slaughterhouses, electrical treatment, application rate, pH, rigor mortis, meat quality, appearance (quality), temperature, meat tenderness, shear strength, color, international trade, Western Australia
Two experiments were done following installation of a new generation medium voltage electrical stimulation unit at a commercial lamb abattoir in Western Australia. The first experiment was designed to optimise settings in relation to rate of pH decline post mortem. The second experiment was designed to investigate the eating quality and visual appearance effects of the optimal setting. In the first experiment, nine different settings were compared with a control using 60 lamb carcasses from each of 10 different consignments. The rate of pH x temperature decline was optimal with a pulse width of 2.5 ms and a current of 1.2 A. In the second experiment, 80 lamb carcasses consisting of four carcasses from each of 20 consignments were examined for various eating quality parameters including sarcomere length, shear force, bloom colour and colour stability. Two of the lambs from each consignment were stimulated and two were not stimulated. Stimulation improved compliance with the Sheep Meat Eating Quality (SMEQ) pH x temperature 'window' for domestic and frozen product but not for long ship product. Colour was improved by electrical stimulation without changing colour stability. There was a small effect on sarcomere length and no effect of stimulation on shear force measured at day 1 and day 10 after slaughter.