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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Callipyge Phenomenon: Toughness Intervention Methods

Author
item Solomon, Morse

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 25, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Consumers consider meat tenderness to be one of the most important characteristics in meat and in current issues today is only second to food/meat safety. Lambs expressing the callipyge gene have been identified as having superior-leaner carcasses compared to lambs without this gene. However, the rib-loin muscle cuts from these leaner carcasses is significantly less tender compared to that from normal lamb. These muscle cuts contribute the major merchandised products from a lamb carcass. Pre- harvest factors, such as genetics, sex and production/management practices have not been able to eliminate this tenderness problem. A number of post- harvest intervention strategies have shown various degrees of success. These strategies include the Hydrodyne process, calcium chloride injection with an aging period, freezing and thawing the meat product prior to aging.

Technical Abstract: Consumers continue to request the desire for leaner meats. Lambs expressing the callipyge gene have been identified as having superior-leaner carcasses compared to normal muscled lambs. However, the longissimus muscle, a major merchandised muscle in lamb has repeatedly been shown to be significantly less tender in callipyge lamb compared to normal muscled lambs. Pre-harvest tfactors, such as genetics, sex and production/management practices thus fa have shown no promise at alleviating this tenderness problem. A number of post-harvest intervention strategies have been introduced to alleviate this tenderness problem. Included in these strategies are: postmortem aging, carcass electrical stimulation (ES), the combination of freezing and thawing prior to aging, calcium chloride (CaCl) injection, and the Hydrodyne process. Some of these strategies have exhibited various degrees of success. Post-harvest strategies to improve callipyge longissimus tenderness will be discussed.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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