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Light lamb meat quality packed under modified atmospheres: effect of stunning systems (electrically v. gas)

Linares, M.B., Vergara, H.
Animal 2009 v.3 no.12 pp. 1763-1771
lamb meat, meat quality, slaughter, lambs, sheep breeds, euthanasia, electrical treatment, electricity, asphyxia, gases, carbon monoxide, mixtures, food packaging, modified atmosphere packaging, food analysis, qualitative analysis, physicochemical properties, pH, color, oxidative stability, meat tenderness, water content, meat processing, European Union, Spain
In the present study, the effect of type of stunning (electrical v. gas) and the gas mixtures in a modified atmosphere (MA) packing system (MA-A: 30% CO2 + 70% O2; MA-B: 30% CO2 + 69.3% N2 + 0.7% CO; MA-C: 40% CO2 + 60% N2) on light lamb meat quality, obtained by 20 males of Manchego Spanish breed, was evaluated at 7, 14 and 21 days post packing. For all ageing times, gas-stunned groups reached the highest pH (P < 0.001) and shear force (SF) values (P < 0.05), and at 21 days, water losses were highest; in contrast, meat colour coordinates were lower (P < 0.001). In general, MA-B showed the highest stability for colour coordinates whereas the lowest tenderness (high SF) was found on MA-A. In this study, the gas mixture with a low carbon monoxide level (MA-B) promoted a higher colour stability and good tenderness, in comparison to the other two blends. In contrast, the conventional packaging system (type A, high oxygen levels) had a reduced tenderness and major colour instability.