Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


Tenderness in meat is a most important characteristic. Meat that has acceptable color, finish and flavor will still be rejected if it is not tender. Tenderness is also a very elusive characteristic and difficult to evaluate. Objective measurements of tenderness have been devised in an attempt to associate tenderness with a more stable factor such as connective tissue, amount of finish, age and size of muscle fibers. These measurements are not entirely successful. Subjective measurements such as taste panels give a better indication of over-all acceptability of meat but do not yield a definite value for tenderness. Experiments on rigor in recent years seem to indicate that major differences in tenderness of meat are due to something inherent in the muscle protein rather than to other characteristics such as connective tissue and amount of finish. This study was designed to determine if tenderness of beef could be altered by the pre-rigor infusion of beef rounds with a solution of sodium hexametaphosphate (Calgon). The specific objectives of this study were: (1) to see if tenderness of beef was improved by pre-rigor infusion of beef rounds with a solution of Calgon; (2) to attempt to find other chelating compounds and the proper levels that would give the desired result of improved tenderness; (3) to determine the amount of glycogen in muscle at zero and 48 hours after slaughter; (4) to correlate shear values and taste panel scores for tenderness of the semimembranosis muscle; (5) to measure the extractable nitrogen in treated and control rounds 48 hours after slaughter and to correlate this extractable nitrogen with tenderness; (6) to correlate glycogen and lactic acid content of muscle 48 hours after slaughter. Fifty-four rabbits were used in this preliminary work in an attempt to determine compounds and levels which would produce the desired result of increased tenderness. In this study only the hind legs of the rabbit were used of which the left leg was used for treatment while the right leg was used for control. The rabbits were stunned with a sharp blow on back of the neck, bled immediately and the hind legs were skinned and removed at the femur bead. Care was taken to section the femoral artery two inches anterior to the main femoral artery branch and the cut end was clipped with a hemostat. Only the left leg was infused with chelating compound.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Meat -- Quality


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University