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Electrical stimulation and hydration to optimise meat quality

Hopkins, D.L., Jacob, R.H., Toohey, E.S., Pearce, K.L., Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 and Richards, I. (2006) Electrical stimulation and hydration to optimise meat quality. In: Wool meets meat : tools for a modern sheep enterprise : proceedings of the 2006 Australian Sheep Industry CRC Conference, 22 - 23 February, Orange, Australia pp. 154-159.

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This article discusses research that was conducted to optimise new electrical-stimulation technologies and to elucidate the effects of pre-slaughter dehydration of lambs. A change in lamb processing to a focus on eating quality has increased the uptake of new electrical technologies. Our research was aimed at understanding how carcase response to electrical stimulation is affected by genotype, pulse-width, current, and frequency and time of stimulation. Although seven post-dressing electrical stimulation systems have been installed in abattoirs across Australia and two prototype pre-dressing systems and an immobiliser have been installed at a major export abattoir, more installations are needed. An indicator of animal dehydration status was developed and used at two commercial abattoirs. This study showed that a large percentage of lambs are dehydrated at the time of slaughter, which represents a potential cost to industry of $5 million annually. Although several compounds for prevention of pre-slaughter dehydration in lambs were tested, none were effective.

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