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Meat Sci. 2008 Oct;80(2):511-21. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Inhibition of nitric oxide release pre-slaughter increases post-mortem glycolysis and improves tenderness in ovine muscles.

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  • 1Victoria University, Hoppers Lane, Werribee, Vic., 3030, Australia; Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries Research Victoria, 600 Sneydes Road, Werribee, Vic. 3030, Australia.


The aim of this experiment was to determine the effect of inhibiting the release of nitric oxide (NO) pre-slaughter in lambs on post-slaughter muscle metabolism and meat quality. Exercise was used as a positive control as NO is known to be released in skeletal muscle during exercise. Forty Border Leicester√óMerino lambs were assigned to the treatments L-NAME (NO synthase inhibitor) infusion (0mg/kg vs. 30mg/kg, 135min pre-slaughter) and exercise (none vs. 15min immediately pre-slaughter). The inhibition of NO release using L-NAME reduced Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) in the longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) after 3days of ageing, while the Semimembranosous (SM) was unaffected. Inhibition of NO release with L-NAME resulted in altered glucose metabolism as indicated by reduced plasma glucose pre-slaughter particularly in exercised lambs, reduced LTL and SM glycogen of non-exercised lambs post-slaughter and increased SM lactate in exercised lambs post-slaughter. In conclusion, inhibition of NO Synthase with L-NAME pre-slaughter increases post-mortem glycolysis and improves tenderness in the loin muscle.

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