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Influence of high pre-rigor temperature and fast pH fall on muscle proteins and meat quality: a review

Kim, Yuan H. Brad, Warner, Robyn D., Rosenvold, Katja
Animal production science 2014 v.54 no.4 pp. 375-395
beef, cooling, denaturation, electrical treatment, glycolysis, hot boning, meat quality, muscle protein, muscles, pH, pork, poultry, proteins, slaughter, swine, temperature, venison
The impacts of accelerated pH decline combined with high muscle temperature on post-mortem muscle metabolism and subsequent meat quality attributes have been extensively studied. Traditionally, this phenomenon has been observed in pork muscles, primarily due to the relatively fast post-mortem glycolysis rate and its relationships to stress susceptibility of pigs before slaughter. However, the protein-denaturing condition of high temperature/rapid pH fall and subsequent PSE (pale, soft and exudative)-like abnormal meat quality characteristics have been observed in muscles from other species such as beef, lamb, venison and even poultry. Various pre-rigor conditions including the application of electrical stimulation, hot-boning, and/or pre-rigor carcass chilling temperatures in various muscles, in conjunction with carcass stretching/hanging methods, can also contribute to muscle-protein denaturation pre-rigor. This review considers the influence of a faster than normal pH fall at a higher than normal pre-rigor temperature on glycolysis, post-mortem muscle proteins and subsequently meat quality attributes. Gaps in current knowledge are identified and recommendations made for additional research.