A survey on the effect of transport method on bruises, pH and colour of meat from cattle slaughtered at a South African commercial abattoir
In this study the effect of transport method on bruising, ultimate pH (pHu) and colour of beef (L* = lightness, a* = redness and b* = yellowness) was determined. Cattle transported directly from farms had the highest bruise scores, pHu and the lowest L* values. There were significant correlations between pHu and L*, a* and b* values, (r = -0.45, r = -0.59 and -0.55, respectively), pHu and bruise score (r = 0.34), and L* and bruise score (r = -0.24). There were positive relationships between transport distance and pHu and between distance and bruise score, while the relationship between L* and distance was negative. Percentage of bruised carcasses varied with method of transport: Group 1, 41.1%; Group 2, 63.1% and Group 3, 51.1%. Transport method affected bruising, pHu and colour of beef.
Keywords: Bruise score, ultimate pH, DFD meat, animal welfare, pre-slaughter stress