SmartStretch (TM) Technology. II. Improving the tenderness of leg meat from sheep using a meat stretching device

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Dubbo, Australia.
Meat Science (Impact Factor: 2.62). 06/2012; 91(2):125-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.01.003
Source: PubMed


This study evaluated the effect of stretching hot-boned sheep hindlegs from 40 sheep carcases, classified as mutton, using a prototype device (SmartStretch™). Left and right legs were collected pre-rigor and randomly allocated to one of four treatments; 0days ageing+SmartStretch™, 0days ageing+no stretch, 5days ageing+SmartStretch™ and 5days ageing+no stretch. There was a significant interaction between stretch treatment and ageing (P<0.05) for shear force of the m. biceps femoris such that stretched and aged samples were the most tender. By contrast stretched m. semimembranosus (SM) had a significantly (P<0.05) lower shear force only at 0days of ageing. Stretching produced longer sarcomeres (P<0.001) for both the SM and m. semitendinosus muscles. Myofibrillar degradation indicated by particle size analysis or histology was not affected by stretching, but there was an ageing effect (P<0.001). SmartStretch™ provided significant improvements in tenderness of the individual muscles.

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