Farm Table says:
This article is aims to assist producers understand what causes heat toughening in beef cattle and what strategies can be used to minimize heat toughening in all stages of the production and slaughter process.
The items covered in this article were:
• Effects of heat toughening
• Importance of muscle temperature
• How muscle temperature varies on a carcase
• How grain-feeding, fat depth and weight can be negative factors in heat toughening
• Tools that can assist in the chilling process
• How pre-slaughter stress affects carcase temperature
• Recommendations to avoid heat toughening
Key points were as follows:
• High stress stock handling or excessive movement prior to slaughter contributes to heat toughening in beef carcases.
• Delayed processing of beef carcases during the slaughter process raises carcase temperatures and contributes to heat toughening.
• Muscles on beef carcases cool at different rates. High fat areas, grain fed carcases and carcases that are excessive in weight can contribute to slower cooling which in turn leads to heat toughening.
• Tools such as heat tubes can assist in the cooling process of denser muscle. Other tools often used by processers are electrical stimulation and vascular infusion during the slaughter process.