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Title: Evaluation of the Effect of a New Novel Stretching Technology on the Quality of Hot Boned Sheep and Beef Meat
Contributor(s): Toohey, Edwina Skye (author); Thompson, John  (supervisor); Hopkins, David (supervisor); Geesink, Geert (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2011
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The quest for accelerated processing efficiency of meat has been limited by the impact on important meat quality traits, such as tenderness. Many studies have shown that the prevention of muscle shortening prior to rigor mortis will result in benefits in meat quality by improving tenderness. Based on this research, various techniques have been developed to prevent muscle shortening including, Tenderstretch (pelvic suspension), Tendercut (skeletal separation), and the Pi-Vac Elasto-Pack system®. Both Tenderstretch and Tendercut are applied to whole carcases and are not suitable for accelerated processing of hot-boned meat. By contrast the Pi-Vac Elasto Pack System® is suitable for hot boned meat, but has had limited adoption commercially and has not been tested or shown to be applicable to sheep meat. More recently, a novel technology, SmartStretch™ has been developed, to stretch and constrict hotboned meat. The objective of the work described in this thesis was to determine the impact of SmartStretch™ technology on meat quality attributes of both sheep and beef under commercial processing conditions. Initial research showed that the tenderness of hot-boned sheep M. semimembranosus could be significantly improved by use of the SmartStretch™ technology and this effect was confirmed in subsequent experiments with hot-boned sheep hindlegs which examined tenderness in both Mm. semimembranosus and biceps femoris. It was later shown that the use of medium voltage electrical stimulation did not reduce the effectiveness SmartStretch™ technology in sheep M. semimembranosus. This indicates that despite the accelerated path to rigor the application of SmartStretch™ was still achieved pre-rigor under commercial conditions. In contrast when the technology was examined under beef hot boning conditions, despite significant increases in muscle length, there was little impact on meat quality of M. semimembranosus taken from cull cows. However experimentation on young prime cattle showed that stretching hot-boned rostbiffs could reduce shear force in the M. gluteus medius, verifying the value of the technology. Irrespective of species it appears that SmartStretch™ technology had no detrimental affects on meat colour or overall water holding capacity. Based on these results it can be concluded that SmartStretch™ technology could be a useful tool in aged sheep and younger cattle to increase processing efficiency through greater application of hot boning without compromising key meat quality traits.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Field of Research Codes: 070299 Animal Production not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2011 - Edwina Skye Toohey
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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