Submitted to: Journal of Muscle Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 12, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The effect of pre-rigor sodium bicarbonate (SBC=baking soda) perfusion on the quality of a pork leg muscle (semimembranosus muscle) was tested. All pigs carried the stress-gene which would make them somewhat stress- sensitive. In general, stress in pigs induces an aberrant pork quality, the so-called PSE (pale, soft and exudative) meat. This is the result of a fast tpH decline immediately after slaughter. The purpose of the study was to determine if, when animals are perfused with SBC, PSE can be prevented or limited. SBC is a compound with a high pH and would thus limit the pH decline induced by stress. Perfusion via the iliac artery was initiated 15 min after slaughter. For each carcass, one side was perfused with 4 liters 0.75 M SBC and one side (the control) with 0.7 percent saline. None of the animals yielded PSE meat. Therefore, it was not possible to determine if PSE actually can be prevented. However, as drip (purge) losses and color L*-values (lightness) were lowered by the SBC treatment, it seems possible to reduce PSE by this treatment. Further studies on optimum delivery (perfusion vs. infusion) and SBC concentration are underway.
The effect of pre-rigor sodium bicarbonate (SBC) perfusion on quality of porcine semimembranosus muscle was tested in 8 pigs heterozygous for the halothane gene. Perfusion via the iliac artery was initiated at 15 min post mortem. For each carcass, one side was perfused with 4 liters 0.75 M SBC and one side with 0.7 percent saline. None of the sampled muscles were PSE quality. SBC treatment resulted in a doubling of the sodium content, indicating that about 5 percent of the perfused SBC was absorbed. Although ultimate pH of SBC samples was higher (p<.05) than pH of controls, the difference was smaller than expected. This may be due to the increased lactate production in SBC treated muscles. L*-value and drip losses were lowered by SBC treatment (p<0.05). These results suggest that it may be possible to reduce PSE by pre-rigor perfusion. Further studies on optimum delivery (perfusion vs. infusion) and SBC concentration are needed.