A study was conducted using 60 lamb carcases to examine the effectiveness of a new type of stimulation system for improving meat quality of lamb carcases. There were 3 treatment groups – control (no current), low current (400 mA) and high current (800 mA). The duration of stimulation was 35 seconds, 20 minutes after death. The stimulation treatments both significantly increased the rate of pH decline and caused an increase in the redness of the longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle. There was no significant reduction in shear force due to stimulation, but ageing for 4 vs 2 days significantly (P < 0.001) decreased shear force by on average 12.6 N. There were no significant effects of stimulation on sensory traits, but, as for shear force, ageing significantly (P < 0.001) improved tenderness (60 vs 65 on a 0-100 scale). The lack of effect of stimulation may have been due to the high initial tenderness and liking scores of the control samples. These high values occurred in spite of a chilling rate under which cold-induced toughness, and, hence, low tenderness and liking scores, would have been expected. KEYWORDS: lamb; electrical stimulation; eating quality.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 65, Christchurch, 247-251, 2005
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