Meat quality

Meat quality has five dimensions: sensory quality, nutritional quality, technological quality, hygienic and toxicological quality and immaterial quality (the last dimension has environmental, ethical, ethnical and religious aspects). Pre-slaughter handling causing stress and pain can result in inferior meat quality. Alterations in the post-mortem reactions can change pH in meat and cause either reduced water holding capacity resulting in inferior technological and sensory quality or depletion of energy reserves resulting in reduced keeping quality. Bruised tissue is an aesthetic and a hygiene problem. It is usually trimmed away, reducing yield as well as frequently leading to downgrading.
Blood splash is one example of meat quality problems that occurs when the physiological stress of stunning induces capillary rupture resulting in the appearance of small spots or large clots of blood in the lean tissue. A standardized method for evaluating the seriousness of this meat quality defect is still not developed. Photo: DMRI