The Effect of Ante-Mortem Epinephrine Injection on Plasma Glucose, Post-Mortem Glycolysis and Meat Quality Factors of West Africa Dwarf Ewes.
Eight West African dwarf ewes were allotted into two equal groups in an attempt to study the effect of epinephrine on body glucose, post mortem glycolysis and some aspects of meat quality factors. One group was injected subcutaneously a one-shot dosage of 0.1% adrenaline solution at a level of a 1.8 mg/10 kg live body weight six hours prior to slaughtering. Blood glucose levels were estimated during the first hour post injection. The other group of ewes which was injected with an equal volume of water served as control. Following death, the pH of the longissimum dorsi was followed as an index of glycolysis. Subsequently, brine diffusion distance, salt uptake, drip loss, cooking loss, total moisture and the organoleptic attributes of tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall acceptability were estimated in selected muscles. An overall elevation of plasma glucose by epinephrine was observed during the one normal initial pH was observed in both groups since both struggled prior to death. The ultimate 24 hour pH was higher in the epinephrine treated mutton (6.43) than in the control group (5.63). Mean drip loss and cooking loss were 1.86% and 30.88% in the epinephrine treated samples as against 1.63% and 33.38% respectively in the control samples. Higher estimates of diffusion lengths were obtained in the treated samples (P<0.05) although between muscle variations were observed. Slight differences were observed as a result of treatment effect on tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall acceptability. Between muscle variation in these parameters were highly significant.