Effects of transportation at high ambient temperatures on physiological responses, carcass and meat quality characteristics of three breeds of Omani goats

Kadim, I.T.; Mahgoub, O.; Al-Kindi, A.; Al-Marzooqi, W.; Al-Saqri, N.M.

Meat Science 73(4): 626-634


ISSN/ISBN: 0309-1740
PMID: 22062562
DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2006.03.003
Accession: 004513723

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The experiment was designed to determine the effects of short road transportation in an open truck during the hot season on live weight shrink, physiological responses, carcass, and meat quality characteristics in three breeds of Omani goats. Forty-two male goats (12months of age) representing equally three breeds of Omani goats (Batina, Dhofari, and Jabal Akhdar) were divided into two groups: 2h transportation stress (TS) or not transported (NT). The NT group remained unstressed in holding pens with feed and water provided ad libitum prior to slaughter, while the TS group was transported on the day of slaughter 100km in an open truck. The average temperature during transportation was 37°C. All animals were blood-sampled before loading and prior to slaughter via jugular venipuncture. Animals were weighed just before loading onto a truck and after transport to assess shrinkage. Muscle shear force, sarcomere length, pH, expressed juice, color, and cooking loss were measured on samples from Mm longissimus dorsi (LD), biceps femoris (BF), and semitendinosus (ST) muscles collected at 24h postmortem at 1-3°C. Live weight shrinkage losses were between 1.07 and 1.28kg. The TS goats had higher plasma cortisol (P<0.01), adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, and dopamine concentrations (P<0.05) than NS goats. Blood serum from Batina goats had significantly (P<0.05) higher cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine and nor-adrenaline concentrations than those from Jabal Akdhar goats. Transportation stress had a significant (P<0.05) effect on meat quality characteristics of the LD, BF, and ST muscles. Meat from TS goats had significantly higher ultimate pH, expressed juice, cooking loss percentage, shear force, but significantly lower sarcomere length, L(∗), a(∗), and b(∗) values. LD muscles of Batina goats had significantly higher ultimate pH values and lower L(∗) values than Dhofari and Jabal Akdhar goats. These results indicated that subjecting goats to the 2-hour road transportation with high ambient temperatures can generate major physiological and muscle metabolism responses.