Relationship between circulating levels of cortisol at slaughter and changes of some parameters of the camel meat during ageing
Relationship between serum levels of cortisol at slaughter and changes of some parameters of meat was investigated in 50 male camels, during ageing for 10 days at 4±1°C. Blood was sampled at slaughter to determine serum levels of cortisol and oblique abdominal external muscle was collected after slaughter to analyze pH, electrical conductivity (EC), drip loss (DL), cooked loss (CL), moisture, solids, ashes, protein total, calcium (Ca), phosphorus (Pi), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), catalase activiry (CATa), malondialdehyde (MDA), shrinkage, R-value and total haem pigment (THP) at days 0 (four hours postmortem), 5 and 10 of refrigerated storage. The camels were divided into 3 groups (Gr) with different serum levels of cortisol at slaughter (low, high and very high levels): Gr1 (13.07-67.9 ng/mL, n= 24), Gr2 (80.29-107.21 ng/mL, n= 7) and Gr3 (133.7-198.04 ng/mL, n= 19). Compared to Gr1, Gr2 and Gr3 had a significant (P<0.05) increase of pH, EC, DL, CL, THP, dimensional shrinkage and MDA, and a significant (P<0.05) decrease of CATa at the 5th and 10th postmortem days. However, the bleeding efficiency, moisture, ashes, R-value and levels of Ca, Pi, Na, K and total protein showed no significant differences between twoo cortisol groups. The antemortem circulating levels of cortisol were positively correlated with postmortem pH, EC, DL, CL, THP, dimensional shrinkage and MDA, and negatively correlated with CATa. The analysis of circulating cortisol at slaughtering may predict the quality and oxidant stress status of camel meat during postmortem cold storage.
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