High and low rigor temperature effects on sheep meat tenderness and ageing

Carrick E. Devine, Steven R. Payne, Bridget M. Peachey, Timothy E. Lowe, John R. Ingram, Christian J. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Immediately after electrical stimulation, the paired m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LT) of 40 sheep were boned out and wrapped tightly with a polyethylene cling film. One of the paired LT's was chilled in 15°C air to reach a rigor mortis (rigor) temperature of 18°C and the other side was placed in a water bath at 35°C and achieved rigor at this temperature. Wrapping reduced rigor shortening and mimicked meat left on the carcass. After rigor, the meat was aged at 15°C for 0, 8, 26 and 72 h and then frozen. The frozen meat was cooked to 75°C in an 85°C water bath and shear force values obtained from a 1×1 cm cross-section. The shear force values of meat for 18 and 35°C rigor were similar at zero ageing, but as ageing progressed, the 18 rigor meat aged faster and became more tender than meat that went into rigor at 35°C (P < 0.001). The mean sarcomere length values of meat samples for 18 and 35°C rigor at each ageing time were significantly different (P < 0.001), the samples at 35°C being shorter. When the short sarcomere length values and corresponding shear force values were removed for further data analysis, the shear force values for the 35°C rigor were still significantly greater. Thus the toughness of 35°C meat was not a consequence of muscle shortening and appears to be due to both a faster rate of tenderisation and the meat tenderising to a greater extent at the lower temperature. The cook loss at 35°C rigor (30.5%) was greater than that at 18°C rigor (28.4%) (P < 0.01) and the colour Hunter L values were higher at 35°C (P < 0.01) compared with 18°C, but there were no significant differences in a or b values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalMeat Science
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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  • Cite this

    Devine, C. E., Payne, S. R., Peachey, B. M., Lowe, T. E., Ingram, J. R., & Cook, C. J. (2002). High and low rigor temperature effects on sheep meat tenderness and ageing. Meat Science, 60(2), 141-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0309-1740(01)00115-2