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Post mortem rigor development in the Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) breast muscle (pectoralis): factors which may affect the tenderness

Geldenhuys, Greta, Muller, Nina, Frylinck, Lorinda, Hoffman, Louwrens C
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2016 v.96 no.1 pp. 271-279
breast muscle, calpain, calpastatin, cathepsin B, enzyme activity, game birds, geese, meat, pH, proteolysis, rigor mortis, temperature, tenderizing
BACKGROUND: Baseline research on the toughness of Egyptian goose meat is required. This study therefore investigates the post mortem pH and temperature decline (15 min–4 h 15 min post mortem) in the pectoralis muscle (breast portion) of this gamebird species. It also explores the enzyme activity of the Ca²⁺‐dependent protease (calpain system) and the lysosomal cathepsins during the rigor mortis period. RESULTS: No differences were found for any of the variables between genders. The pH decline in the pectoralis muscle occurs quite rapidly (c = −0.806; ultimate pH ∼5.86) compared with other species and it is speculated that the high rigor temperature (>20 °C) may contribute to the increased toughness. No calpain I was found in Egyptian goose meat and the µ/m‐calpain activity remained constant during the rigor period, while a decrease in calpastatin activity was observed. The cathepsin B, B & L and H activity increased over the rigor period. CONCLUSION: Further research into the connective tissue content and myofibrillar breakdown during aging is required in order to know if the proteolytic enzymes do in actual fact contribute to tenderisation. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry