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Comparison of different methods for determination of drip loss and their relationships to meat quality and carcass characteristics in pigs

Otto, G., Roehe, R., Looft, H., Thoelking, L., Kalm, E.
Meat science 2004 v.68 no.3 pp. 401-409
pork, carcass quality, meat quality, drip loss, measurement, methodology, carcass weight, slaughterhouses, pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, color, carcass yield, swine breeds, breeding lines, gender differences
Samples of the M. longissimus dorsi of 776 pigs from three commercial lines were used to compare two methods for measuring drip loss, referred to as the EZ-DripLoss and bag methods. Furthermore, relationships between drip loss and other meat quality and carcass traits were analysed. The bag method used a slice of M. longissimus dorsi of approximately 120 g hung in an airtight container whereas the EZ-DripLoss method used two samples of approximately 10 g placed in drip loss containers. In the bag method, samples taken at 24 h post-mortem were measured 24 and 48 h after sampling and average drip loss was 1.94% and 3.33% at 24 and 48 h, respectively. Correlation between these consecutive measurements was high (r=0.98). Using the EZ-DripLoss method, drip loss of samples taken at 24 h post-mortem was measured 48 h after sampling and showed an average value of 4.97%. Correlation between the drip loss obtained using EZ-DripLoss and bag methods was high (r=0.86). Relationships between drip loss and other meat quality traits were similar for both methods. Highest correlations were observed between drip loss and pH45 (r=-0.52 and -0.48 using EZ-DripLoss method48 and bag method48, respectively) and the lowest to Minolta a* value (r=0.11 and 0.09, respectively). Correlations among several carcass traits, such as lean content, and drip loss were low or not significant. Low associations between loin eye area (cm2) and drip loss were obtained regardless of the method used to determine drip loss (r=0.21 and 0.18 using EZ-DripLoss method48 and bag method48, respectively). For routine measurements, the EZ-DripLoss method is recommended because it showed a high correlation with the bag method but is easier to perform and is more standardised.