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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 174253, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Ultimate pH on Postmortem Myofibrillar Protein Degradation and Meat Quality Characteristics of Chinese Yellow Crossbreed Cattle

1Department of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an, Shandong 271018, China
2Department of Food Science and Engineering, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, Shandong 266109, China

Received 6 March 2014; Revised 15 July 2014; Accepted 21 July 2014; Published 13 August 2014

Academic Editor: Francisco P. Peixoto

Copyright © 2014 Peng Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper describes the complex effects of postmortem ultimate pH (pHu) on Chinese Yellow crossbreed cattle quality during postmortem ageing and provides an explanation of how pHu affects beef tenderness. High pHu beef had the highest initial tenderness () compared with other groups at 1 day postmortem. Intermediate and low pHu beef had similar initial WBSF at 1 day postmortem, but intermediate pHu beef had slower tenderization rate than low pHu beef (). Purge loss, cooking loss, , , and values decreased with increasing pHu during ageing (). Myofibril fragmentation index (MFI) was higher in high pHu beef than intermediate and low pHu beef throughout ageing (). Protein degradation studies found that desmin and troponin-T appeared degraded within 0.5 h postmortem for high and low pHu beef, compared to >2 days for intermediate pHu beef. Overall, Chinese Yellow crossbred cattle tenderness is related to pHu, which may be affected by proteolytic enzymatic activity. Therefore, pHu may be used to predict beef tenderness and other quality characteristics during postmortem ageing. To achieve consistent tenderness, different ageing times should be used, depending on pHu.