Effects of electrical stimulation and age at slaughter on carcass and meat quality of two Sudanese Baggara beef types
This study aimed to evaluate the influences of electrical stimulation (ES), age at slaughter, and breed type on muscle pH, the decline in carcass temperature, and meat quality attributes of Sudanese indigenous Baggara cattle. Eighty Baggara bulls, representative of Nyalawi (n = 40) and Mesairi (n = 40) breed types, were selected at their typical marketing age of about 4.5 years. Electrical stimulation was applied for 30 seconds at 20 minutes post mortem to 20 randomly selected carcasses from each breed type and compared with 20 carcasses from each type that were not electrically stimulated (NES). Samples of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were collected for meat analyses. Breed type showed no significant influence on meat quality characteristics, while ES and age at slaughter did. Electrical stimulation accelerated the carcass pH decline significantly up to 24 hours post mortem. Meat from electrically stimulated carcasses and younger animals resulted in higher L* values, lower a* values, higher hue values, and better tenderness. Older Mesairi animals had darker meat than their younger counterparts. Electrical stimulation reduced water-holding capacity (WHC), although it had no influence on cooking loss (CL). Meat from older cattle showed better WHC compared with meat from younger animals. The ES treatment decreased the variations in meat tenderness between the younger and older bulls. It is concluded that the use of ES and younger bulls produced more tender meat with better colour. Therefore, these practices should be adopted in Sudan to ensure better beef quality management.
Keywords: Longissimus dorsi muscle, meat characteristics, Mesairi, Nyalawi, Sudan