Reassessing the principles of electrical stimulation
The mechanisms by which electrical stimulation (ES) of carcasses can be used to modulate meat quality are reviewed. Evidence to support an effect of ES on tenderness (and other meat quality attributes) based solely on changes in the pH/temperature profile within carcass muscles are presented. The interactions between electrical parameters and the contraction responses of carcass muscles are described to provide generalised principles to guide the design of electrical stimulation technology. The commercial risks to meat quality of inappropriate use of electrical stimulation, particularly excessive stimulation to produce PSE-like conditions, are considered. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.