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The aim of this study was to determine the effects of road transportation during the hot season (36 oC) and low voltage electrical stimulation on meat quality characteristics of Omani sheep. Twenty intact male sheep (1-year old) were divided into two equal groups: 3 hrs transported or non-transported. The transported group was transferred to the slaughterhouse the day of slaughter in an open truck covering a distance of approximately 300 km. The non-transported group was kept in a lairage of a commercial slaughterhouse with ad libitum feed and water for 3 days prior to slaughter. Blood samples were collected from the animals before loading and prior to slaughter in order to assess their physiological response to stress in terms of hormonal levels. Fifty percent of the carcasses from each group were randomly assigned to low voltage (90 V) at 20 min postmortem. Muscle ultimate pH, expressed juice, cooking loss percentage, WB-shear force value, sarcomere length, myofibrillar fragmentation index and colour L*, a*, b* were measured on samples from Longissimus dorsi muscles collected 24 hrs postmortem at 2-4 oC. The transported sheep had significantly (P<0.05) higher cortisol adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, and dopamine levels than the non-transported group. Muscles from electrically-stimulated carcasses had significantly (P<0.05) lower pH values, longer sarcomere length, lower shear force value, higher expressed juice, myofibrillar fragmentation index and L* values than those from non-stimulated ones. Transportation significantly influenced meat quality characteristics of the Longissimus dorsi muscle. Muscle ultimate pH and shear force values were significantly higher, while CIE L*, a*, b*, expressed juice and cooking loss were lower in transported than non-transported sheep. This study indicated that pre-slaughter transportation at high ambient temperatures can cause noticeable changes in muscle physiology in sheep. Nevertheless, meat quality of transported sheep can be improved by electrical stimulation post-slaughter.
Sheep transportation Longissimus dorsi electrical stimulation shear force.
How to Cite
Kadim, I. T., Mahgoub, O., Al-Marzooqi, W., & Khalaf, S. (2010). Effect of Transportation and Low Voltage Electrical Stimulation on Meat Quality Characteristics of Omani Sheep. Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences [JAMS], 15, 1–8. Retrieved from https://journals.squ.edu.om/index.php/jams/article/view/690