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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598

Abstract

PERES, Louise Manha et al. Effect of low or high stress in pre-slaughter handling on pig carcass and meat quality. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2014, vol.43, n.7, pp.363-368. ISSN 1516-3598.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982014000700004.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the consequences of low or high stress during pre-slaughter handling of pigs on their carcass and meat quality. Forty-four animals of a commercial lineage, with an average weight of 107.23±5.23 kg, were used. At lairage the animals were randomly divided into two groups, the least and the most stressed. At slaughter, during bleeding, blood samples were collected for later cortisol and lactate tests. Forty-five minutes after slaughter the initial pH of th carcasses was measured and samples of the semitendinosus muscle were collected for R-value calculation. After 24 hours of cooling, the final pH was measured, damage scores were assessed and samples of the longissimus dorsi muscle were collected to evaluate drip loss, liquid loss from defrosting and cooking, shear force, lipid oxidation, and color. The results were evaluated by analysis of variance and the means were compared by Tukey´s test. It was found that cortisol, lactate and R-value were lower and initial pH was higher for the least stressed animals, whereas the other parameters were not significantly affected. Thus, low stress in the pre-slaughter handling of pigs is effective in reducing stress and carcass damage, but has no effect on meat quality.

Keywords : carcass damage score; cortisol; lactate; lipid oxidation; pH; R-value.

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