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Effect of different stunning systems on meat quality of light lamb

Linares, M.B., Bornez, R., Vergara, H.
Meat science 2007 v.76 no.4 pp. 675-681
lambs, slaughter, electrical treatment, sheep breeds, lamb meat, meat quality, food storage, refrigeration, cooking quality, shear strength, shear stress, drip loss, rigor mortis, pH, meat aging, water holding capacity, color, carbon dioxide
The present study was proposed to compare the effect that different types of stunning (TS) had on the quality of refrigerated meat from light lambs of the Spanish Manchega breed at 24 h and 7 days post-mortem. Lambs were electrically stunned (ESL; n = 10), using CO2 (GSL; n = 10) or slaughtered without previous stunning (USL; n = 10). Measurements on meat quality were carried out by evaluating pH, colour coordinates (L*, a*, b*), water holding capacity (WHC), cooking loss (CL), shear force (SF) and drip loss (DL). At 24 h post-mortem, no significant differences were found in any of the variables studied. However, at 7 days post-mortem, meat quality was affected by the different TS: pH, CL and DL were lower (P < 0.001) in the USL group and GSL obtained the lowest a* (redness) and b* (yellowness) values (P < 0.01) than in the other groups. Ageing of meat affected SF in the ESL group (P < 0.01), although there were no significant differences due to treatments at any of the ageing times.