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Effects of stimulation on tenderness of lamb with a focus on protein degradation

Martin, K.M., Hopkins, D.L., Gardner, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986 and Thompson, J.M. (2006) Effects of stimulation on tenderness of lamb with a focus on protein degradation. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 46 (7). pp. 891-896.

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Past studies have identified that electrical stimulation systems not only affect the pH–temperature decline of lamb carcasses, but also affect the tenderness of the product. It is unknown whether these differences are due to the effects of an optimal pH–temperature decline path by which the occurrence of shortening is decreased and proteolytic enzyme activity is increased, or by another mechanism, such as disruption of the muscle myofibres. This study attempted to elucidate this by placing control and mid-voltage electrically stimulated samples of the M. longissimus thoracis et lumborum in a water bath to prevent shortening by imposing an even pH–temperature decline on all samples. In order to obtain a complete understanding of the effects of stimulation on the muscle, samples were taken for indicators of tenderness, myofibre degradation and protein breakdown. No effect of stimulation was seen on tenderness and structural degradation measures aside from the expected rapid lowering of muscle pH. Interesting relationships were observed, however, between the different methods of meat tenderness assessment, with muscle structural protein degradation, shear force and muscle fibre and myofibre breakdown comparisons. These results suggest that the effects of electrical stimulation seen in mid-voltage systems as applied in this study are due only to the prevention of shortening conditions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: 2006 CSIRO
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