Effect of postmortem phases on lamb meat quality: A physicochemical, microstructural and water mobility approach
Received: May 28, 2021 ; Revised: Jul 06, 2021 ; Accepted: Jul 26, 2021
Published Online: Jul 27, 2021
To investigate the effect of postmortem phases on lamb meat quality, the physicochemical quality, microstructure and water mobility of oyster cut, short loin, knuckle and silverside muscles from Small-Tail Han sheep were evaluated in the pre-rigor, rigor mortis and post-rigor phases. Pre-rigor lamb meat had higher pH and water holding capacity, whereas lower CIE L*, b*, hue angle values than rigor mortis and post-rigor meat (p<0.05). The Warner-Bratzler shear force values were higher in rigor mortis short loin and silverside than their pre-rigor and post-rigor counterparts, pre-rigor short loin had lower Warner-Bratzler shear force value than its post-rigor counterpart (p<0.05). Muscle fibers shrank laterally and longitudinally during the onset of rigor mortis. Rigor mortis and post-rigor lamb meat exhibited wide I-bands, dark A-bands, short sarcomeres and large inter-myofibrillar spaces. The shift of immobilized water to free water and repulsion from the intra-myofibrillar space to the extracellular space result in the increase of water loss in rigor mortis and post-rigor lamb meat. The results of the principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that rigor mortis and post-rigor lamb meat had similar quality properties but different from pre-rigor lamb meat. In conclusion, the lamb meat in the pre-rigor phase had good tenderness, color and water holding capacity. The results of this research could provide some theoretical references for lamb meat production and processing.