Influence of early pH decline on calpain activity in porcine muscle

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  • Luigi Pomponio
  • Per Ertbjerg
  • Anders H Karlsson
  • Leonardo Nanni Costa
  • Lametsch, Rene

This study investigated the influence of post-mortem pH decline on calpain activity and myofibrillar degradation.From 80 pigs, 30 Longissimus dorsi (LD) muscles were selected on the basis of pH values at 3 h post-mortem and classified into groups of 10 as fast, intermediate and slow pH decline. The rate of pH decline early post-mortem differed between the three groups, but the ultimate pH values were similar at 24 h. Calpain activity and autolysis from 1 to 72 h post-mortem were determined using casein zymography and studied in relation to myofibrillar fragmentation.

Colour and drip loss were measured. A faster decrease in pH resulted in reduced level of l-calpain activity and increased autolysis of the enzyme, and hence an earlier loss of activity due to activation of l-calpain in muscles with a fast pH decline. Paralleling the l-calpain activation in muscles with a fast pH decline a higher myofibril fragmentation at 24 h post-mortem was observed, which was no longer evident in the later phase of the tenderization process. In conclusion, the rate of early pH decline influenced l-calpain activity and the rate but not the extent of myofibrillar degradation, suggesting an early effect of proteolysis on myofibril fragmentation that is reduced during ageing due to an earlier exhaustion of lcalpain activity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMeat Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 18314578