Effect of transportation and stunning method on some characteristics of rabbit carcasses and meat


  • A. Dal Bosco Università di Perugia
  • C. Castellini Università di Perugia
  • M. Bernardini Università di Perugia




The influence of distance of transportation and stunning method on rabbil carcass and meat quality was verified using 100 hybrid Provisal rabbits, who came from two inlensive farms, 400 and 15 km from the commercial slaughtering house. Rabbits from each farm were divided into five groups and subjected to electric stunning by alternating current with relative combinations of voltage (45 vs 80 volts) and amperage (2.5 vs 8 amperes), or by cervical dislocation (control). The distance of transportation affected the carcass quality, mainly just after slaughtering: longissimus lumborum (1.1.) and bíceps femoris (b.f.) muscles had higher initial pH values (6.85 vs 6.41, 1.1; 7.04 vs 6.63, b.f.), and an unpleasant red (a*= 24.2 vs 20.1, I.I.; 19.3 vs 18.3, b.f.) and dark colour (L *= 44.3 vs 61.4, I.I; 41.1 vs 60.4, b.f.). After 24 h the differences in pH and lightness were reduced while those of redness became more evident (17.6 vs 9.2, I.I.; 15.1 vs 5.9, b.f.). In longer transported animals the I.I. muscle had a higher moisture content (76.6 vs 74.7%) and drip loss (2.3 vs 1.7%), but cooking loss was lower (28.9 vs 32.0%), because water holding capacity was higher (65.4 vs 62.9%). The shear force was higher (4.0 vs 3.5 kg/cm2). The effect of stunning method was not relevant, low voltage, independent of amperage, showed a significant effect only on initial pH (6.73 and 6.80 vs 6.54 and 6.6, I.I.; 6.97 and 6.96 vs 6.78 and 6.77, b.f.).


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