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The effect of combining tenderstretching and electrical stimulation on alpaca (Vicugna pacos) meat tenderness and eating quality

Biffin, Tamara E., Smith, Melanie A., Bush, Russell D., Collins, Damian, Hopkins, David L.
Meat science 2018 v.145 pp. 127-136
Vicugna pacos, alpacas, collagen, electric power, electrical treatment, longissimus muscle, meat tenderness, particle size, pelvic bones, psoas muscles, sarcomeres, semitendinosus muscle, sensory evaluation, sensory properties, slaughter
The effect of combining tenderstretching (TS; carcase suspension by the pelvic bone) with medium voltage electrical stimulation (ES) during processing on the tenderness of alpaca muscles was investigated. Thirty-six split alpaca carcases were randomly allocated to treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (Achilles hung/TS and ES/non-ES). Samples were collected from the m. longissimus thoracis (LT), m. adductor femoris (AF), m. semimembranosus (SM), m. semitendinosus (ST) and m. psoas major (TL) at 24 h post slaughter for shear force, sarcomere length, collagen and myofibre (particle size) measurement. Additional samples were taken from the m. longissimus lumborum (LL) for sensory assessment using an untrained consumer panel. Tenderstretching reduced shear force and variability within the alpaca AF, without negatively affecting the TL, while ES significantly improved TL and LT tenderness. Consumers were able to detect ES treated LL, rating ES samples higher for all sensory traits. Combining ES and TS maximizes alpaca carcase tenderness when considered on a multiple muscle basis.