Indexed on: 27 Apr '10Published on: 27 Apr '10Published in: Meat Science
A group of 128 cross-bred barrows were used to determine the relationship between exsanguination blood lactate concentration ([LAC]) and carcass quality following commercial marketing conditions. After 10h of feed withdrawal, pigs were loaded on a truck with a hydraulically lifted second deck and transported approximately 1h to the slaughter facility. Pigs were rested for 8h and stunned with carbon dioxide. Blood lactate concentration was measured on exsanguination blood. Fourteen pork quality measurements were obtained following normal post-mortem processing. Pearson correlations were used to determine the relationships between [LAC] and the meat quality parameters. Exsanguination blood lactate concentration ranged from 4 to 19.7 mM. Higher lactate was associated with lower 60 min pH (P=0.0004) and higher drip loss (P=0.02). These results suggest that under low-stress loading and standard marketing conditions, exsanguination [LAC] is predictive of the rate of early post-mortem metabolism.