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The influence of the rate of pH decline on the rate of ageing for pork. I. Interaction with method of suspension

Rees, M.P., Trout, G.R., Warner, R.D.
Meat science 2003 v.65 no.2 pp. 791-804
boars, experimental design, electrical treatment, electric current, carbon dioxide, pork, meat aging, rigor mortis, pH, temperature, suspension systems, cold storage, cooling, sarcoplasmic reticulum, sarcomeres, muscle protein, solubility, protein degradation, meat quality, shear strength, color, drip loss
The influence of the rate of pH decline post slaughter on the rate of ageing of pork was investigated. The rate of pH decline on 24 finisher pigs was manipulated by altering the method of stunning (carbon dioxide or electrical head to heart) and by the use of electrical stimulation (none or low voltage electrical stimulation (LVES) at 4 min post slaughter). To investigate the effect of pH decline rate on ageing rate independently of the effect on possible muscle shortening, sides were suspended by either the pelvis (to minimize shortening) or conventionally by the Achilles tendon. The data indicated that the rate of pH decline did not influence the rate of ageing but the use of LVES did improve tenderness at 1, 2 and 10 days post slaughter due to the prevention of muscle shortening. Electrical stunning improved tenderness at 1 and 2 days post-slaughter but had a detrimental effect on drip loss. Pelvic suspension improved tenderness at rigor, 1, 2 and 6 days post slaughter due to prevention of muscle shortening. The conditions employed however were not severe enough to induce protein denaturation.