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Improving meat quality of organic pork through post mortem handling of carcasses: An innovative approach

M. Therkildsen1*, L. Kristensen2, S. Kyed3 and N. Oksbjerg1

Abstract
This study was conducted to examine the best combination of post mortem chilling, suspension and ageing in order to optimize tenderness of organic pork at slaughter, which may be tougher than conventionally produced pork, because of lower daily gain.

Combinations of stepwise chilling with a holding period of 6 h at 10°C or traditional blast tunnel chilling, suspension in the pelvic bone or Achilles Tendon and ageing 2 or 4 days post mortem were tested.

Stepwise chilling and ageing improved tenderness of the loin, and the effects were additive, whereas pelvic suspension was less effective in texture improvements, and non-additive to stepwise chilling. Stepwise chilling improved tenderness to a similar degree as can be obtained within 2–4 days of extended ageing, however, the minimum temperature during the holding period seems to be crucial in order to obtain a positive effect of stepwise chilling, and it should be above 7.5°C.


Source
Meat Science (2012) 91: 108-115
DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.12.011


Author Locations and Affiliations
(1) Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
(2) Danish Meat Research Institute, Danish Technological Institute, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
(3) Organic Denmark, DK-8230 Aabyhoj, Denmark
* Corresponding author, E-mail Margrethe.Therkildsen@agrsci.dk


Posted March 2012

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