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Genetic and non-genetic effects on ultimate meat pH of lamb meat

Pearce, K., Warner, R., Jacob, R., Hopkins, D., Mortimer, S. and Pethick, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 (2011) Genetic and non-genetic effects on ultimate meat pH of lamb meat. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on the Nutrition of Herbivores (ISNH8)., 6 - 9 September, Aberystwyth, Wales UK p. 540.

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Introduction: The ultimate pH of meat (measured at approx. 24 hours post slaughter) is a key quality determinant of sensory attributes of sheep meat (Warner et al 2010). Between a pH of 5.4-5 .7 sheep meat is tender, juicy and light in colour with better keeping qualities. Muscle glycogen levels at slaughter are governed by the quality of pre-slaughter nutrition and depletion results from stress and/or exercise prior to slaughter. Breed type may also play an important role, with Australian studies indicating that the Merino sheep breed has a higher incidence of elevated ultimate pH compared to first and second cross lambs (sired by Border Leicester and Poll Dorsets) (Hopkins et al 2005). This is attributed to a greater sensitivity to stress and therefore a greater glycogen depletion rate than crossbred lambs (Gardner et al 1999). The objectives of this study are to better quantify the genetic and non-genetic factors and relevant interactions influencing ultimate pH levels in pure merino and cross bred lambs representing diverse genetic backgrounds.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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