Effect of electrical and mechanical stunning on bleeding, instrumental properties and sensory meat quality in rabbits.

Research paper by R R Lafuente, M M López

Indexed on: 29 Jun '14Published on: 29 Jun '14Published in: Meat Science


Different voltage and frequency (T-1=49V, 250Hz; T-2=130V, 172Hz; T-3=22V, 833Hz) combinations of electrical stunning and cervical dislocation (T-4) were studied in 101 commercial rabbits in an industrial abattoir. Electrical stunning accelerated the early muscular acidification, providing lower pH-45 and pH-2h values on Longissimus dorsi and Biceps femoris and higher pH-24h on Biceps femoris than cervical dislocation (P<0.02). Furthermore, meat from rabbits stunned with electrical methods showed more redness (a* with mean values 1.17-1.30 vs. 0.66, P<0.02), although this cannot be associated to low exsanguination levels because electrical methods tend to produce even higher bleeding percentage than mechanical stunning (P=0.063). Haematin content in muscle, water-holding capacity and cooking losses were similar in all treatments. Shear force did not change because of the stunning methods, but the members of experienced panel found the meat coming from electrical stunning T-1 (with intermediate voltages and frequencies) tougher and less juicy than the meat obtained with other electrical applications or with cervical dislocation (P<0.05).