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Drip loss of case-ready meat and of premium cuts and their associations with earlier measured sample drip loss, meat quality and carcass traits in pigs

Otto, G., Roehe, R., Looft, H., Thoelking, L., Henning, M., Plastow, G.S., Kalm, E.
Meat science 2006 v.72 no.4 pp. 680-687
pork, longissimus dorsi, meat quality, drip loss, food packaging, containers, meat cuts, postmortem changes, swine, young animals, dressing percentage, lean meat, backfat, carcass yield, color
Drip loss of 374 samples taken from porcine M. longissimus dorsi and M. semimembranosus was measured by using the "bag method" (BM), EZ-DripLoss (EZ-DL) from premium cuts (PC) and in retail tray (case-ready meat; CRM). This provided a comparison between these methods and their relationships to other meat quality and carcass traits. Samples were prepared at 24 h post-mortem (pm) and were measured 24 and 48 h after preparation (at 48 and 72 h pm) using the BM and after 48 h (at 72 h pm) with the EZ-DL and PC. Drip loss of meat kept in retail trays was measured after 7 days (CRM7) and daily within a week (CRM(1-7)). Average drip loss was 1.80% and 3.10% using the BM after 24 and 48 h, respectively. EZ-DL and CRM7 showed higher drip losses of 4.71% and 4.00%. Daily loss of CRM(1-7) showed a concavely shaped curve and increased from 1.57% to 5.64% after 7 days. High correlations were obtained between drip loss of CRM7 and BM (r = 0.88) or the EZ-DL (r = 0.91). The development of drip loss in case-ready meat fitted by linear-quadratic regression (y = 0.439 + 1.245x - 0.072x2) showed that high drip loss measured earlier by bag and EZ-DripLoss methods was highly associated with a high intercept (r = 0.63-0.72), a high linear increase (r = 0.77-0.81), but larger decrease in increments (r = -0.82 to -0.86) during weekly stored meat in retail trays as supplied at consumer level. Because the positive linear regression coefficient was substantially higher than the negative quadratic regression coefficient, the development of drip loss is mainly dependent on the initial drip loss. Therefore, animals with high drip loss within 72 h post-mortem also showed undesirable high drip loss curves over the entire retail period. Relationships between drip loss and other meat quality traits were similar for BM, EZ-DL and CRM7. Of these the correlation between pH24 and drip loss was highest with r = -0.54, -0.49 and -0.47 for BM, EZ-DL and CRMH7, respectively. Interestingly, a correlation of r = -0.35 between blood pH value and CRML7 was obtained. Carcass traits such as loin, ham, shoulder, belly weight or loin eye area showed only marginal correlations to drip loss. In conclusion, EZ-DL was the most appropriate method to predict drip loss of case-ready meat in retail trays and its development during a 7 day storage period.