Pelvic suspension improves quality characteristics in M. semimembranosus from Swedish dual purpose young bulls.
ABSTRACT To study whether pelvic suspension would improve tenderness in comparison with normal hanging from the achilles tendon, carcasses from 34 Swedish red and white young bulls were randomly selected at the slaughter line. The left sides of the carcasses were re-hanged by the pelvic bone before cooling whereas the right sides remained hanging from the achilles tendon. Quality characteristics and length and weight were studied for M. semimembranosus. Tenderness was measured by the Warner-Bratzler shear force method. Purge and cooking loss were determined and sarcomere length was measured. Pelvic suspension considerably affected the shape of M. semimembranosus; the length increased by 38% in comparison with achilles suspension. The elongation of the muscle was parallel with an increase in sarcomere length from 1.6 to 2.9μm. The water-holding capacity was improved because both purge and cooking loss were lower for pelvic suspended carcasses. Tenderness was improved and the coefficient of variation between animals for Warner-Bratzler shear force was reduced from 26% for achilles tendon suspension to 12% for pelvic suspension. Likewise, the within-animal variation for shear force decreased significantly from 13.3% to 10.0%. Therefore, pelvic suspension seems to be a reliable method to reduce texture variability in M. semimembranosus from young bulls.