Effects of Muscle Mass and Fiber Number of Longissimus dorsi Muscle on Post-mortem Metabolic Rate and Pork Quality

  • Ryu, Youn-Chul (Division of Food Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Korea University) ;
  • Choi, Young-Min (Division of Food Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Korea University) ;
  • Kim, Byoung-Chul (Division of Food Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Korea University)
  • Published : 2005.10.31


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the muscle mass and fiber number on post-mortem metabolic rates and pork quality. Carcass traits, muscle fiber characteristics, and type of fiber composition were evaluated using a sample of 200 cross-bred pigs. The muscle mass was divided into two groups according to carcass weight and loin-eye area measurements (heavy or light). In addition, the muscle histological characteristics were divided into two groups according to the muscle fiber density and total number of muscle fibers (high or low). All the carcass traits were significantly different in the muscle mass groups. Increasing weight significantly affected the cross-sectional area (CSA) of all fibers. The low group, which had a low muscle fiber number indicating a larger CSA of fibers, and especially the heavy-low group had the highest CSA levels of fibers. The fiber number percentage and the area percentage were significantly different in the groups categorized by fiber number. The heavy-high group indicated a normal rate of pH decline and the R-value. In addition, pigs with a heavy muscle mass and high muscle fiber number indicated normal drip loss, lightness, and protein denaturation. The present results suggest that increasing the total muscle fiber number has a beneficial effect on increasing the muscle mass without deteriorating the meat quality.


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