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Keywords:

  • pork;
  • color;
  • postmortem;
  • muscle pH;
  • temperature;
  • aging

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Purchasing pork that is boned within 1 h postmortem and not aged is customary in China, and final pork color would not be fully realized. The relationship between early postmortem, pre-rigor meat color and 24 h postmortem, post-rigor pork color was investigated and related to the rate of pH and temperature decline within the longissimus dorsi (LD) and the semimembranosus (SM) muscles of pork carcasses. Muscle color, pH and temperature were measured at 45 min and at 3, 9, 15 and 24 h postmortem in carcasses of F2 White Duroc and Chinese Erhualian pigs.

RESULTS

Pork color at 45 min postmortem was not indicative of that at 24 h postmortem in LD and SM, although muscle pH values and temperature at 45 min postmortem were significantly correlated with the LD and SM ultimate color. High muscle pH was associated with decreased L*, whereas high muscle temperature increased L*. Muscle pH and temperature had little effect on a* and b* in LD and color evolution in SM.

CONCLUSIONS

Results indicated that meat color inspected shortly after slaughter does not reflect post-rigor meat quality. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry