Water mobility and distribution were measured in M. longissimus dorsi from 41 pigs slaughtered at an age of 90, 140, 161 or 182 days using low-field proton NMR relaxometry, and in order to investigate the impact on sensory attributes, a sensory evaluation of the pork was performed in parallel. The sensory evaluation demonstrated a significant effect of slaughter age on juiciness of the meat, and a final juiciness score of 8.4, 7.7, 7.2 and 7.8 was obtained for meat from 90, 140, 161 and 182-day old pigs, respectively. The NMR measurements revealed that the higher juiciness in meat slaughtered at an age of 90 days could be ascribed to a longer relaxation time of the extramyofibrillar water, corresponding to more mobile water, in the fresh meat of 90-day old pigs compared with the older pigs. In the cooked meat the higher juiciness of meat from 90-day old animals could be ascribed to a more homogenous distribution of the myofibrillar water compared with meat from older pigs. In contrast, the NMR measurements showed no effects that could explain the higher juiciness in meat from pigs slaughtered at an age of 182 days compared with meat from pigs slaughtered at an age of 140 or 161 days. Possibly the increase in juiciness when the age at slaughter is increased from 161 to 182 days should be ascribed to an increase in intramuscular fat content, which was not evident in the NMR measurements. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bertram, H. C., Straadt, I. K., Jensen, J. A., & Dall Aaslyng, M. (2007). Relationship between water mobility and distribution and sensory attributes in pork slaughtered at an age between 90 and 180 days. Meat Science, 77(2), 190–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.03.006