Effect of Postmortem Metabolic Rate on Meat Color

  • Park, B.Y. (National Livestock Research Institute, RDA) ;
  • Lee, J.M. (National Livestock Research Institute, RDA) ;
  • Hwang, I.H. (Department of Animal Resources and Biotechnology, Chonbuk National University)
  • Received : 2006.07.26
  • Accepted : 2006.11.02
  • Published : 2007.04.01


The current study was conducted to evaluate carcass characteristics, objectives and sensory meat qualities of Hanwoo longissimus muscle as affected by ultimate pH. Twenty-four steers and bulls ($556{\pm}53$ kg and $0.63{\pm}0.32$cm for live weight and backfat thickness, respectively) were used. As there was a linear relationship (r = 0.77) between lean meat color and ultimate pH, cattles were thus segregated into normal $pH{\leq}5.8$, Normal, n = 13) and DFD (pH>5.8, n = 11) groups. Normal pH group had significantly (p<0.05) higher carcass weight, marbling score and backfat thickness than those for high pH group, while fat color and lean meat color were inverse. In principle component analysis for co-ordinates of DFD and normal meats, fat color, lean meat color, texture, time to pH 6.2 and pH at 24 h postmortem were associated with the positive range of the first factor (67.5%) while backfat thickness marbling score and temperature at 24 h were placed in negative values. The rate constant of decline in pH (pH k) did not differ between the two groups, implying that initial pH (i.e., pH at slaughtering) differed between two groups. Contour mapping of pH k between pH at 1 and 24 h postmortem indicated that high pH k was related to lower pHs at 1 and 24 h postmortem. This suggested that the high pH cattles (i.e., DFD cattle) resulted from their own potential. Although the time to reach pH 6.2 was significantly (p<0.05) shorter for normal meat (i.e., 3.2 h) than that for DFD one (i.e., 19.8 h), there were no significantly differences in both WB-shear force and sensory attributes. Given that the experimental animals were sampled from a similar group, which implies a similar myoglobin pigment content, the current data suggested that pre- and post-slaughter animal handling likely had a significant effect on ultimate pH and consequently meat color of Hanwoo longissimus muscle, and also small animals with lower marbling score and backfat thickness had a higher risk for DFD meat.



Supported by : Chonbuk National University


  1. Abril, M., M. M. Campo, A. onenc, C. Sanudo, P. Alberti and A. I. Negueruela. 2001. Beef colour evolution as a function of ultimate pH. Meat Sci. 58:69-78.
  2. APGS. 1995. Report of business for animal products grading. Animal products grading system, National Livestock Cooperatives Federation, Seoul, Korea.
  3. Becker, T., E. Benner and K. Glitsch. 1998. Report on consumer behaviour towards meat in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and The United Kingdom, Department of Agricultural Policy and Agricultural Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  4. Bendall, J. R. 1976. Electrical stimulation of rabbit and lamb carcasses. J. Sci. Food Agric. 27:819-826.
  5. Bouton, P. E., P. V. Harris and W. R. Shorthose. 1971. Effect of ultimate pH upon the water-holding capacity and tenderness of mutton. J. Food Sci. 36:435-439.
  6. Cho, S. H., J. M. Lee, J. H. Kim, B. Y. Park, Y. M. Yoo and Y. K. Kim. 1999. Survey of consumer perception and demand on beef market. Kor. J. Food Sci. Anim. Resour. 19:352-360.
  7. Cho, S. H., B. Y. Park, J. H. Kim, I. H. Hwang, J. H. Kim and J. M. Lee. 2006. Fatty Acid Profiles and Sensory Properties of Longissimus dorsi, Triceps brachii, and Semimembranosus Muscles from Korean Hanwoo and Australian Angus Beef. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 18:1786-1790.
  8. Claeys, E., L. Uytterhaegen, D. Demeyer and S. De Smet. 1994. Beef myofibrillar protein salt solubility in relation to tenderness and proteolysis. Proceedings of 40th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (S-IVB. 09). The Hague, The Netherlands.
  9. Devine, C. E., S. R. Payne, B. M. Peachey, T. E. Lowe, J. R. Ingram and C. J. Cook. 2002. High and low rigor temperature effects on sheep meat tenderness and ageing. Meat Sci. 60:141-146.
  10. Devine, C. E., N. M. Wahlgren and E. Tornberg. 1999. Effect of rigor temperature on muscle shortening and tenderization of restrained and unrestrained beef longissimus thoracicus et lumborum. Meat Sci. 51:61-72.
  11. Dransfield, E. 1981. Beef quality, marketing and the consumer. (Ed. E. D. Hood and P. V. Tarrant), The problemof dark-cutting in beef (pp. 344-358). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  12. Dransfield, E. 1996. The texture of meat: conditioning and ageing (Ed. S. A. Taylor, A. R. Raimundo, M. Severini and F. J. M. Smulders) 1996. Meat quality and meat packaging ECCEAMST, Utrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 65-87.
  13. Dumont, B. L. 1981. Eating quality of beef. The problem of darkcutting in beef (Ed. D. E. Hood and P. V. Tarrant). pp. 344-358. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  14. Gasperlin, L. 1998. Colour of raw and thermally treated beef muscles m. longissimus dorsi and m. psoas major of normal and DFD (dark, firm and dry) quality. Dissertation thesis. Ljubljana, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Food Science and Technology, p. 104.
  15. Gasperlin, L., B. Zlender and A. Pegan. 1997. Illustrated colour standards for fresh and cooked young beef. In: Technology- Food-Health. 1st Slovenian Congress on Food and Nutrition with International Participation, Bled, Slovenia, 21-25 April 1996. Proceedings. Ljubljana, Association of Food and Nutrition Specialists of Slovenia, pp. 464-467.
  16. Gasperlin, L., B. Zlender and V. Abram. 2000. Colour of normal and high pH beef heated to different temperatures as related to oxygenation. Meat Sci. 54:391-398.
  17. Katsaras, K. and P. Peetz. 1990. Morphological changes in dark cutting beef when heated. Fleischwirtschaft. 70:68-70.
  18. Malmfors, G. and E. Wiklund. 1996. Pre-slaughter handling of reindeer-effects on meat quality. Meat Sci. 43:257-264.
  19. Offer, G. and T. Cousins. 1992. The mechanism of drip production: Formation of two compartments of extracellular space in muscle post mortem. J. Sci. Food Agric. 58:107-116.
  20. Olsson, U., N. M. Wahlgren and E. Tornberg. 1995. The influence of pre-slaughter stress on muscle shortening, isometric tension and meat tenderness of beef. Proceedings of the 41st International Congress on Meat Science and Technology, San Antonio, pp. 614-615.
  21. Park, B. Y., I. H. Hwang, S. H. Cho, Y. M. Yoo, J. H. Kim, J. M. Lee, R. Polkinghorne and J. M. Thompson. 2006. Beef palatability as assessed by Korean and Australian consumers: 3. The effect of carcass suspension and cooking method on the palatability of three muscles. Meat Sci. (in press)
  22. Purchas, R. W., X. Yan and D. G. Hartley. 1999. The influence of a period of ageing on the relationship between ultimate pH and shear values of beef m. longissimus thoracis. Meat Sci. 51:135-141.
  23. Renerre, M. and R. Labas. 1987. Biochemical factors influencing metmyoglobin formation in beef muscles. Meat Sci. 19:151-165.
  24. Renerre, M. 1986. Influence de facteurs biologiques et technologiques sur la couleur de la viande bovine. Bulletin Technique C.R.Z.V. Theix, I.N.R.A. 65, pp. 41-45.
  25. SAS. 1997. Applied statistics and the SAS programming language. SAS Institute INC, Cary, NC, USA.
  26. Savell, J. W., S. L. Mueller and B. E. Baird. 2005. The chilling of carcasses. Meat Sci. 70:449-459.
  27. Schaefer, A. L., S. D. M. Jones and R. W. Stanley. 1997. The use of electrolyte solutions for reducing transport stress. J. Anim. Sci. 75:258-265.
  28. Seideman, S. C., H. R. Cross, G. C. Smith and P. R. Durland. 1984. Factors associated with fresh meat color: a review. J. Food Quality. 63:211-237.
  29. Silva, J. A., L. Patarata and C. Martins. 1999. Influence of ultimate pH on bovine meat tenderness during ageing. Meat Sci. 52:453-459.
  30. Tornberg, E. 1996. Biophysical aspects of meat tenderness. Meat Sci. 43(suppl.):175-191.
  31. Viljoen, H. F., H. L. de Kock and E. C. Webb. 2002. Consumer acceptability of dark, firm and dry (DFD) and normal pH beef steaks. Meat Sci. 61:181-185.
  32. Wahlgren, N. M. and E. Tornberg. 1996. Ageing of beef studied by using different instrumental techniques and sensory tenderness. Proceedings of the 42nd International Comgress on Meat Science and Technology, Norway, pp. 432-433.
  33. Warriss, P. D. 1993. In proc. 39th ICoMST, Calgary, Canada, 51.
  34. Watanabe, A., C. C. Daly and C. E. Devine. 1996. The effects of the ultimate pH of meat on tenderness changes during ageing. Meat Sci. 42:67-78.
  35. Wheeler, T. L., S. D. Shackelford and M. Koohmaraie. 2000. Relationship of beef longissimus tenderness classes to tenderness of gluteus medius, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. J. Anim. Sci. 78:2856-2861.
  36. Wulf, J. M., J. D. Tatum, R. D. Green, J. B. Morgan, B. K. Golden and G. C. Smith. 1996. Genetic influences on beef longissimus palatability in Charolais- and Limousin-sired steers and heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 74:2394-2405.
  37. Young, O. A., A. Priolo, N. J. Simmons and J. West. 1999. Effects of rigor attainment temperature on meat blooming and colour on display. Meat Sci. 52:47-56.

Cited by

  1. Growth Performance, Carcass Yield, and Quality and Chemical Traits of Meat from Commercial Korean Native Ducks with 2-Way Crossbreeding vol.28, pp.3, 2015,
  2. Association of carcass weight with quality and functional properties of beef from Hanwoo steers vol.55, pp.5, 2015,
  3. Causes and Contributing Factors to “Dark Cutting” Meat: Current Trends and Future Directions: A Review vol.16, pp.3, 2017,