The effect of high and low voltage electrical stimulation on beef quality.

Abstract

Meat bulls were assigned to three treatment groups-high voltage intermittent electrical stimulation, low voltage electrical stimulation and no stimulation. Both stimulation methods resulted in a significantly more rapid pH fall in the longissimus and adductor muscles during the first 8 h post mortem. Carcass cooling rates were relatively slow, since temperatures of the longissimus and adductor muscles were 15°C, respectively, at 8 h post mortem. Samples of stimulated longissimus, cut at 24h post mortem and vacuum stored at 3°C for 6 days, had a brighter red colour, higher drip and heating loss, lower shear force values and scored better in taste panels, compared with samples from control carcasses. No significant differences were observed between high and low voltage electrical stimulation in quality traits measured. Although the combined result of pH and temperature measurements during the first 8 h post mortem suggest an absence of cold shortening conditions in control carcasses, a lower sarcomere length was found in samples of the longissimus muscle taken from these carcasses at 24 h post mortem.

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