Meat quality defined based on pH and colour depending on cattle category and slaughter season. colour and pH as determinants of meat quality dependent on cattle category and slaughter season

https://doi.org/10.17221/2520-CJASCitation:Węglarz A. (2010): Meat quality defined based on pH and colour depending on cattle category and slaughter season. colour and pH as determinants of meat quality dependent on cattle category and slaughter season. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 55: 548-556.
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The studies were carried out on 614 animals slaughtered in winter and summer seasons. After slaughter and post-slaughter processing the carcasses were evaluated according to EUROP system. The meat pH and its colour were determined in m. longissimus thoracis after 48 hours of chilling. A significant effect of cattle category, season of slaughter and interactions between them on meat pH was found. High pH values were observed mainly in the summer season in the groups of young bulls (A) (6.1) and bulls (B) (6.07). Slightly lower values 5.94 and 5.65, respectively, were observed in both above-mentioned groups in winter. Meat collected from heifers was characterized by proper pH in both analysed seasons whereas meat obtained from cows had pH values above 5.8, independently of the season of slaughter. The differences in colour lightness L* observed among all analysed cattle categories were statistically highly significant (P < 0.0001). The brightest red meat was obtained from heifers and the darkest from cows. The differences between young bulls and bulls in the same slaughter seasons were not large despite considerable variation in the age of slaughtered animals, especially in the summer season. Distinctly higher values of L* (brighter red meat) were found in the winter season in all cattle categories excluding meat from cows in which L* in summer was slightly higher than in winter. The differences in L* between seasons as well as the interaction of cattle category × slaughter season were statistically highly significant (P < 0.0001). For the remaining colour parameters (a*, b*) higher values were also observed in winter compared to summer in all cattle categories. The highest values of a* and b* were found in bulls.
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