Journal article

Understanding the action of muscle iron concentration on dark cutting: An important aspect affecting consumer confidence of purchasing meat

Eric N Ponnampalam, Joe L Jacobs, Matthew Knight, Tim E Plozza, Kym L Butler



We investigated the association of muscle iron concentration, in addition to ultimate pH (pHU), on dark meat formation in sheep of different breeds fed forage-based diets. At 1 h simulated display, redness of meat (a*-value) increased (P < .0001) by about 3 units as the iron concentration increased from 10 to 22 mg/kg of meat, whereas the a*-value decreased by 2 units as pHU increased from 5.5 to 6.2 in fresh meat (P < .0001). After 90 days storage the corresponding responses were about 2 units increase for iron concentration and about 1 unit decrease for pHU, respectively. The results clearly show that increased muscle iron concentration was strongly associated with reduced dark cutting in ..

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Awarded by Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Australia

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Australia (Grant number 105393). The authors gratefully acknowledge the technical contributions of Matthew Kerr, Stephanie Muir, Wayne Brown and other staff from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. We also thank Hardwicks Pty. Ltd. in Kyneton and their staff for assistance on both slaughter of animals and access to their boning room facility for carcass traits measurement.