The ultimate pH (pHult) of beef is an important quality determinant, that can be affected by pre-slaughter muscle glycogen concentrations. The two trials reported here evaluated relationships between pre-slaughter conditions and behaviour of mobs ofsteers processed at Manawatu Beef Packers Limited and the subsequent incidence of high-pH beef. Trial 1 involved 405 2- and 3-year steers in 12 mobs, with a mean (±sd) carcass weight of 341.2 (±28.2)kg. Cattle were held for either c. 3h prior to slaughter (1/2of each mob) or c. 27h. Mean carcass weight was lower for the 27h-mobs (P < 0.01), but the extra 24h holding time had no effect on mean pHult , bruising score, carcass fat depth, or meat colour. The percentage of carcasses with a pHult> 6.0 varied from 0 to 27%, but was not closely related to any of the pre-slaughter conditions monitored (eg. feeding levels, conditions during yarding, loading and transport,weather conditions, and conditions at the plant).
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 57, , 271-274, 1997
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