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Meat Sci. 1999 Jan;51(1):35-42.

Effects of high-intensity high-frequency ultrasound on ageing rate, ultrastructure and some physico-chemical properties of beef.

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Station de Recherches sur la Viande, INRA, Theix, 63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France.


High-intensity and high-frequency ultrasound was tested for its ability to accelerate meat ageing and increase beef tenderness. Samples (≈50g) of semimembranosus muscles from 8 cull cows were assigned to ultrasonic treatment (2.6MHz; 10W/cm(2); 2 ×15s) either pre-rigor (day 0, pH 6.2) or post-rigor (day 1, pH 5.4). When applied pre-rigor, ultrasound induced a slight delay in rigor mortis onset, a stretching (12-15%) of the sarcomeres (p<0.05), an ultrastructural alteration in the Z-line region and an immediate increase (around 30%) in the release of calcium in the cytosol (p<0.05). However, no conclusive effect on meat ageing rate was observed. Post-rigor ultrasonic treatment did not induce any structural modification but slightly improved the ageing index after 6 days (p<0.05). However, no improvement in the final (day 14) ageing index was observed compared to the controls. As ultrasound had also no effect on the thermal stability of collagen, at both postmortem times, no improvement in meat tenderness can be expected under the conditions used.


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