Marcus is aware that some meat is more tender or tougher than other meat, but hasn’t given consideration as to why from a producer’s point of view. The MSA representative explains pre-slaughter stress, poor nutrition and high pH are key contributors to toughness in sheepmeat.
She goes on to tell Marcus that electrical stimulation in the abattoir can be used to accelerate the fall of pH in sheep carcases. Do you think this is true?
Select the correct answer.
Electrical stimulation can be used by processors as a method of accelerating the fall of pH. When properly applied, electrical stimulation will ensure muscles enter rigor (pH 6.) at a temperature that maximises eating quality. However, this method will not solve the issue of high pH if the producer has not correctly handled their livestock.
High pH meat (defined as above pH 5.70) has the following features:
- Known as dark-cutting meat, having a dark purple colour rather than the consumer preferred bright red colour
- Coarse texture
- High water holding capacity so less juicy when cooked
- Reduced shelf life due to bacterial growth in high pH conditions
- Cooking inconsistencies.
Go to the MSA Tips and Tools page for more information on the effect of pH on sheepmeat eating quality
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