This Special Issue of Animal Production Science provides the research outcomes and recommendations arising from a project on meat quality problems associated with high rigor temperature in beef and sheep carcasses. The first paper quantifies the occurrence of high rigor temperature in beef processing plants in Australia and identifies some of the causative factors. Section 1 contains a review and four research papers quantifying the influence of high rigor temperature on the visual, objective and sensory quality traits of muscles from beef and lamb carcasses. Section 2 has a review and three research papers which focus on the in vivo metabolic conditions that contribute to high rigor temperature post-slaughter and potential strategies to apply to the live animal, to ameliorate or prevent the occurrence of high rigor temperature. Post-mortem muscle metabolism and potential industry solutions are presented in two reviews and two papers in Section 3. Finally, an overview is presented in which, the results are reviewed and summarised by overseas researchers external to the research and the project.
The research project also involved close collaboration with commercial meat processing companies. Outcomes were disseminated by site visits to each commercial processing plant involved in the project and by the publication of industry fact sheets.
This journal special issue will be of particular interest to research scientists, resource managers, agribusiness advisors, as well as farmers, and is essential reading for anyone interested in meat science.
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