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Meat Sci. 2013 Oct;95(2):311-6. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.04.041. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Examination of the effect of ageing and temperature at rigor on colour stability of lamb meat.

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Sheep CRC, CJ Hawkins Homestead, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.


A study of factors (ageing period, rigor temperature and vitamin E level) impacting on the colour stability of lamb m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LL) during 3 days of simulated retail display was undertaken. The LL were taken from 84 lambs from 3 slaughters. Slices of LL were measured fresh (24h post-mortem) or after ageing for 5 days in vacuum packaging. The oxy/met ratio (630/580 nm), declined with display time, and increased with increasing temperature at pH6.0. Redness (a*) values also declined with display time and a reduction in redness values was observed as LL pH at 24h post-mortem and/or pH at 18°C increased. There was no effect of ageing period or vitamin E level on the oxy/met ratio or a* values when the vitamin E level averaged 3.76 mg/kg LL. These results suggest that maximising vitamin E levels in lambs and achieving a moderate rate of pH decline will optimise colour stability irrespective of ageing period.

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