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Effect of carcass electrical stimulation on meat quality of grazing cattle

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Authors: J. Franco, G. Bianchi, O. Feed, G. Garibotto, F. Ballesteros, O. Bentancur, M. Carrere, J. Chiruchi
Issue: 105-4 (313-323)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: cattle, meat quality, electrical stimulation.

The aim of this research was the study the effect of carcass electrical stimulation (80 V, 15 Hz, 30s) from 34 Hereford steers (281 ± 27, 6 kg, means and standard deviation respectively) on meat quality. The samples were extracted from the Longissimus dorsi muscle (10th rib to 2nd lumbar vertebra), vacuumpacked and aged for 1, 3 and 7 days. They were cooked until a central heat temperature of 70 ºC, in a water bath for texture and grilled for sensory analysis. The sensory analysis was conducted with 140 consumers, using a 10 points discontinuous and structured scale. Stimulated carcass had lower pH values than controls (5.45 vs 5.6; P < 0.05). Meat color from carcasses stimulated were higher in red index (a*), yellow index (b*) and Chroma (C*) and lower in hue (H*) values in relation to control ones. Meat from stimulated carcasses achieved lower WBFS values than controls (3.4 kg vs 4.0 kg, P < 0.08) and meat aged from 7 days was more tender than those of 1 and 3 days (3.1 vs 3.7 kg and 4.1 kg respectively, P < 0.05). The electrical stimulation improved meat tenderness (6.12 vs. 6.51), together with the increasing ageing times (5.72 vs. 6.33 vs. 6.93, for 1, 3 and 7 days respectively). The quality of taste and acceptability rose for the effect of ageing time, but not for stimulation effect.

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