Preslaughter and Slaughter Components

This section in general considers the meat quality changes from the live animal through slaughter, but only considers briefly factors such as breed (ie, genetics), growth, and sex. Apart from stress factors that may be breed or sex related (such as in the case of bulls where pH effects occur—see later) and animal age (which has an obvious influence only at extremes—discussed earlier) and fat cover, which affects chilling rates, the influence of these is minor. This is not to suggest that the preceding factors do not affect meat quality, but rather the effects are minor in comparison with processing effects and are perhaps overemphasized. Cold-shortening capacity appears to be greater in older animals, where the tension generated and shortenings are greater by a factor of three (80). There was shown to be a reduced tenderness in old bulls compared with young ox (81). The muscle used was beef m. sternomandibularis, which has a higher connective tissue content than other muscles. We may merely be considering the expected age-related changes in the connective tissue net in a relatively atypical muscle (see age-related toughness changes covered earlier

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