Queensland, THE EFFECT OF PRE-RIGOR CHANGES ON MEAT TENDERNESS. A Review INTRODUCTION THE TENDERNESS of meat is notoriously variable. It varies not only among anatomically different muscles but also among corresponding muscles from animals of the same or different species, and it is influenced by both pre-slaughter and post-slaughter factors. Over the years a great deal of research has gone into establishing the effects of pre-slaughter factors such as species, breed, age, sex, nutrition and exercise, and of post-slaughter treatments such as aging (i.e., prolonged storage at temperatures above freezing) and freezing. Structurally, striated muscle can be regarded as being made up of a fibrillar component which is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of the muscle and a connective tissue component which holds the fibers together as well as attaching the muscle to the skeletal framework. In the earlier part of the century it was believed that the quantity and strength of the connective tissue determined the toughness of the meat (Lehmann, 1907; Mitchell et al., 1926; Mackintosh et al., 1936). However, there is now ample evidence that changes in the myofibrillar component pre-rigor (i.e., during the period between slaughter and the full development of rigor mortis)
Journal of Food Science – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1972
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