The impact of new generation pre-dressing medium-voltage electrical stimulation on tenderness and colour stability in lamb meat

E.S. Toohey, D.L. Hopkins, D.F. Stanley, S.G. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous work identified that a large number of domestic lamb carcases processed in Australia do not meet the recommended pH/temperature window during chilling. New medium voltage electrical stimulation technology has been developed to alleviate this problem. This study used an optimised setting (800 mA with a pulse width 0.5 ms) to evaluate the effects on meat quality with a focus on tenderness and meat colour. In total 40 (electrically stimulated) and 40 (non electrically stimulated) lambs from 11 lots killed over 2 days were evaluated. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between stimulation treatments for initial pH, rate of pH decline and the predicted temperature at pH 6.0. There was also a large difference in the number of carcases that met the recommended window (pH of 6.0, between 18 and 25 °C), with an average 67.5% of stimulated carcases and 25% of unstimulated carcases meeting or falling just above the recommended window. The stimulation treatment had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on sarcomere length or myofibrillar fragmentation index (MFI) of the m. longissimus (LL). After 1 day of ageing LL samples from stimulated carcases had a significantly lower (P < 0.05) shear force than non stimulated samples, but there was no difference between stimulation treatments after 5 days ageing. However, ageing period did have a significant effect (P < 0.001) on both MFI and shear force, such that 5 days aged product had higher MFI and lower shear force values. There were minimal effects of stimulation on colour stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-691
Number of pages9
JournalMeat Science
Volume79
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

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