Collagen Solubility and Calcium Concentration and Their Effects on Tenderness in the M. longissimus lumborum



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Strip steaks from the McGregor genome project were used to evaluate the effects of sarcomere length, myofibrillar fragmentation index, 3 h postmortem pH, 24 h postmortem pH, marbling, electrical stimulation (ES), sarcoplasmic free calcium concentration, and collagen characteristics on tenderness as measured by Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS). The WBS values were measured prior to this project so the animals were able to be separated into ?tender? and ?tough? groups using a WBS value of 30 N as the separating point, steaks with a WBS value less than 30 N being ?tender? and the others being ?tough?. It was found that ES sides had lower WBS values, however, ?tough? steaks showed a greater response to ES than ?tender? steaks. ES sides also had higher sarcoplasmic free calcium concentration and lower 3 h postmortem pH. Tenderness is best predicted by treatment (ES versus NON-ES), however, there is some efficacy in using total collagen and collagen solubility in conjunction with treatment.