Recent Advances in Effects of Slaughter Stress on the Quality of Meat and Meat Products

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Meat".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 September 2022) | Viewed by 23506

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
UMR Herbivores, INRAE, VetAgro Sup, Theix, 63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle, France
Interests: meat quality; meat color; animal science; meat conversion; animal behavior and physiology; animal consciousness; stress; slaughter; proteomics

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Guest Editor
INRAE, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France
Interests: foodomics; meat science; proteomics; muscle and meat biochemistry; biomarkers of meat quality; novel strategies to improve meat quality; meat tenderization; meat products; rearing practices and beef quality
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To increase our understanding of the determination of the quality of meat products, we need more awareness and knowledge of the effects of pre-slaughter stress on the mechanisms underlying meat quality. Animal stress has been studied extensively relative to animal welfare, that is, ethical questions. Apart from in extreme cases (e.g., PSE and DFD meats), the effects of pre-slaughter stress on animal food products have thus far received too little attention. Animals tend to perceive any change to their familiar living context, such as during the slaughter period, as a threat, resulting in stress. Stress reactions involve increased physical efforts and physiological, including metabolic, changes, allowing to deal with the threat (e.g., through fight and flight reactions). Behavioral and physiological stress reactions significantly affect, generally negatively, technological, sensory, and nutritional meat quality. Animals vary greatly in stress reactivity. Hence, even if slaughter conditions are standardized, animals’ reactions are not, inducing uncontrolled variation in meat quality traits if pre-slaughter stress levels have not been measured.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the causes of stress or of differences in stress reactivity between animals, relevant to the slaughter context, and to the consequences of stress in terms of behavior, metabolism, and physiology, of technological, sensory or nutritional meat quality, or of proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics of the muscle, organs or fluids relevant to meat quality.

Dr. Claudia Terlouw
Dr. Mohammed Gagaoua
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • slaughter
  • stress reactions
  • differences in stress reactivity
  • behavior
  • physiology
  • metabolism
  • muscle
  • meat quality
  • proteomics
  • metabolomics
  • transcriptomics
  • meat defects

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 194 KiB  
Editorial
Stress at Slaughter: A Key Factor in the Determination of Meat Quality?
by Claudia Terlouw and Mohammed Gagaoua
Foods 2023, 12(6), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061294 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
Meat consumption has played an important role in human evolution [...] Full article

Research

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19 pages, 2390 KiB  
Article
Considering Two Aspects of Fish Welfare on African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) Fillet throughout Postmortem Condition: Efficiency and Mechanisms
by Nima Hematyar, Aiman Imentai, Jiří Křišťan, Swapnil Gorakh Waghmare and Tomáš Policar
Foods 2022, 11(24), 4090; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11244090 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Knowledge about fish welfare and its impact on fish fillet quality is still insufficient. Therefore, the influence of two aspects of fish welfare (slaughtering method: bled and unbled fish; fish stock densities: 90, 120, and 150 kg·m−3) on African catfish fillet [...] Read more.
Knowledge about fish welfare and its impact on fish fillet quality is still insufficient. Therefore, the influence of two aspects of fish welfare (slaughtering method: bled and unbled fish; fish stock densities: 90, 120, and 150 kg·m−3) on African catfish fillet quality during postmortem conditions was investigated. The aim of study was to determine (i) the efficiency of bleeding on oxidation progress and (ii) the influence of stock density on fillet quality. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE) showed a higher protein loss in the unbled than in the bled groups, especially in the heavy myosin chain (MHC) band. However, density did not show any influence on protein profile. Western blot analysis showed fewer oxidized carbonyls in the bled than in the unbled groups; higher oxidation development, microbial growth, and lower hardness were observed in unbled fillets. Additionally, hardness was higher at 90 and 120 kg·m−3 densities in bled fillet compared to 150 kg·m−3. The first three days of storage showed a higher oxidation rate in unbled fillets than in bled fillets, confirming the contribution of hemoglobin to oxidation development with different mechanisms of protein oxidation. The obtained results revealed the same fillet quality in all aspects at either 90 or 120 (kg·m−3) stock densities, which would suggest 120 kg·m−3 for the fishery industry. However, higher stocking density in this study would not be appropriate for fish welfare. Full article
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16 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Heat Stress and an Immune Challenge Influence Turkey Meat Quality, but Conspecific-Directed Pecking Behavior Does Not
by Melissa Davis, Rachel Stevenson, Emily Ford, Marisa Erasmus and Stacy M. S. Zuelly
Foods 2022, 11(15), 2203; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11152203 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
Heat stress (HS), immune challenges (IC) and pecking behavior are some of the many stressors poultry can experience in commercial settings that may affect bird welfare and meat quality after harvest. The first objective was to determine if HS or IC turkeys displayed [...] Read more.
Heat stress (HS), immune challenges (IC) and pecking behavior are some of the many stressors poultry can experience in commercial settings that may affect bird welfare and meat quality after harvest. The first objective was to determine if HS or IC turkeys displayed greater negative effects on meat quality, and the second objective was to determine if the frequency of non-aggressive pecking behaviors among the birds was related to meat quality. Ninety-two, commercial male, beak-trimmed turkeys were used with a total of 15 rooms and 4–7 birds per room. Each treatment was applied for 1 week prior to harvest: the Control (CON) group had no stressors added, the HS group ambient temperature was approximately 29 °C for 120 min, and the IC group involved inoculating birds with a live vaccine for hemorrhagic enteritis virus. Birds were recorded and scored to quantify pecking behavior. Once harvested, carcasses were evaluated for feather retention force, pH, color, proximate analysis, fatty acid composition, shear force, and drip loss. Stress treatment resulted in HS breasts having the lowest protein content, and IC breasts having the lowest CIE L* values and the greatest shear force values. Pecking behavior had no impact on any meat quality attributes. Full article
14 pages, 531 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Premortality Stress on Some Quality Parameters of Roe Deer, Wild Boar, and Red Deer Meat
by Kristijan Tomljanović, Marijan Grubešić, Helga Medić, Hubert Potočnik, Tomislav Topolovčan, Nikolina Kelava Ugarković and Nives Marušić Radovčić
Foods 2022, 11(9), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11091275 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
The specifics of meat production from free-ranging animals include the killing of animals in the wild with firearms. This type of uncontrolled killing sometimes leads to the phenomenon that the game does not die immediately but after a certain time from the shot [...] Read more.
The specifics of meat production from free-ranging animals include the killing of animals in the wild with firearms. This type of uncontrolled killing sometimes leads to the phenomenon that the game does not die immediately but after a certain time from the shot to death, which may ultimately affect the quality of the meat. During one hunting year on free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus) (RD), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) (RoD), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) (WB), the effect of time from shot to death on final pH, water-holding capacity (WHC), water content, and colour (L*, a*, b*) was investigated. All analyses were performed on Musculus biceps femoris (BF). After shooting, the animals were divided into two categories (A = time from shot to death ≤ 1 min; B = time from shot to death > 1 min). In RD, group B had significantly lower (p < 0.05) water content. In RoD, group B had significantly lower (p < 0.05) values of L* and b*. In WB, group B had significantly lower (p < 0.05) L* value and significantly higher (p < 0.05) pH value. The study proves that in BF of the three studied game species, the time extension from shot to death significantly affects the final water content values in RD, L* and b* in RoD and pH and L * in WB. Full article
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14 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
Impact of Kosher Slaughter Methods of Heifers and Young Bulls on Physical and Chemical Properties of Their Meat
by Jagoda Żurek, Mariusz Rudy, Paulina Duma-Kocan, Renata Stanisławczyk and Marian Gil
Foods 2022, 11(4), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11040622 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2127
Abstract
This work aimed to comprehensively analyze the factors (slaughter method, gender, and muscle type) that determine the kosher status of beef and assess their influence on the selected quality characteristics of raw meat. The muscles were obtained from 40 carcasses of heifers and [...] Read more.
This work aimed to comprehensively analyze the factors (slaughter method, gender, and muscle type) that determine the kosher status of beef and assess their influence on the selected quality characteristics of raw meat. The muscles were obtained from 40 carcasses of heifers and 40 carcasses of young bulls. In the first stage of the experiment, pH values were measured. The water, protein, fat, minerals, and collagen contents were determined. Then, the shear force, forced drip, and thermal drip were measured. The experimental results indicated that all the investigated parameters have an impact on the final quality of beef. Statistically significantly lower pH1 values were noticed in the longissimus thoracic muscle of young bulls obtained through kosher slaughter methods. However, 24 and 48 h after slaughter, higher pH values were observed in the meat of young bulls obtained by the kosher slaughter method, where the meat samples were subjected to kosher treatment. The koshering process (salting and washing) resulted in a significant reduction in both forced and thermal drip values of the meat sample, but this decrease was not affected by gender. Full article
13 pages, 860 KiB  
Article
Comparing Gas and Electrical Stunning: Effects on Meat Quality of Pigs When Pre-Stunning Physical Activity Is Minimal
by E. M. Claudia Terlouw, Véronique Deiss and Thierry Astruc
Foods 2021, 10(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020319 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4653
Abstract
A total of thirty pigs were experimentally slaughtered using gas (80% CO2 in air, 90 s; 30% CO2/70% N2O; 90 s) or electrical stunning (1.3 A, 10 s). Stunning may accelerate post-mortem muscle metabolism, due to psychological stress [...] Read more.
A total of thirty pigs were experimentally slaughtered using gas (80% CO2 in air, 90 s; 30% CO2/70% N2O; 90 s) or electrical stunning (1.3 A, 10 s). Stunning may accelerate post-mortem muscle metabolism, due to psychological stress and/or muscle contractions. The specific effects of the stunning method were studied by limiting pre-stunning physical activity and stress: pigs were driven in a trolley from the rearing to the stunning site (6.5 m) and immediately slaughtered. Bleeding efficiency and carcass characteristics were similar and satisfactory for all stunning methods. Early post-mortem pH decline in the Longissimus lumborum was faster following gas compared to electrical stunning. The pH of other muscles was not influenced; color and drip loss showed minor effects. Hence, results are in contrast to current beliefs: compared to electrical stunning, following gas stunning, the stress and muscle contractions during the induction of unconsciousness have a slightly greater impact on Longissimus lumborum muscle metabolism; differences are minor and limited to certain muscles only. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 3114 KiB  
Review
Understanding the Determination of Meat Quality Using Biochemical Characteristics of the Muscle: Stress at Slaughter and Other Missing Keys
by E. M. Claudia Terlouw, Brigitte Picard, Véronique Deiss, Cécile Berri, Jean-François Hocquette, Bénédicte Lebret, Florence Lefèvre, Ruth Hamill and Mohammed Gagaoua
Foods 2021, 10(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010084 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 6394
Abstract
Despite increasingly detailed knowledge of the biochemical processes involved in the determination of meat quality traits, robust models, using biochemical characteristics of the muscle to predict future meat quality, lack. The neglecting of various aspects of the model paradigm may explain this. First, [...] Read more.
Despite increasingly detailed knowledge of the biochemical processes involved in the determination of meat quality traits, robust models, using biochemical characteristics of the muscle to predict future meat quality, lack. The neglecting of various aspects of the model paradigm may explain this. First, preslaughter stress has a major impact on meat quality and varies according to slaughter context and individuals. Yet, it is rarely taken into account in meat quality models. Second, phenotypic similarity does not imply similarity in the underlying biological causes, and several models may be needed to explain a given phenotype. Finally, the implications of the complexity of biological systems are discussed: a homeostatic equilibrium can be reached in countless ways, involving thousands of interacting processes and molecules at different levels of the organism, changing over time and differing between animals. Consequently, even a robust model may explain a significant part, but not all of the variability between individuals. Full article
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Other

8 pages, 225 KiB  
Commentary
Cattle and Pigs Are Easy to Move and Handle Will Have Less Preslaughter Stress
by Temple Grandin
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2583; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112583 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Previous research has clearly shown that short-term stresses during the last few minutes before stunning can result in Pale Soft Exudative (PSE) pork in pigs or increased toughness in beef. Electric prods and other aversive handling methods during the last five minutes are [...] Read more.
Previous research has clearly shown that short-term stresses during the last few minutes before stunning can result in Pale Soft Exudative (PSE) pork in pigs or increased toughness in beef. Electric prods and other aversive handling methods during the last five minutes are associated with poorer meat quality. Handlers are more likely to use aversive methods if livestock constantly stop and are difficult to move into the stun box. Factors both inside and outside the slaughter plant contribute to handling problems. Some in-plant factors are lighting, shadows, seeing motion up ahead, or air movement. Non-slip flooring is also very important for low-stress handling. During the last ten years, there have been increasing problems with on-farm factors that may make animals more difficult to move at the abattoir. Cattle or pigs that are lame or stiff will be more difficult to move and handle. Some of the factors associated with lame cattle are either poor design or lack of adequate bedding in dairy cubicles (free stalls) and housing beef cattle for long periods on concrete floors. Poor leg conformation in both cattle and pigs may also be associated with animals that are reluctant to move. Indiscriminate breeding selection for meat production traits may be related to some of the leg conformation problems. Other on-farm factors that may contribute to handling problems at the abattoir are high doses of beta-agonists or cattle and pigs that have had little contact with people. Full article
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