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Original Research

Investigating the contributing factors to postmortem pH changes in springbok, eland, red hartebeest and kudu edible offal

Kudakwashe Magwedere, Fortune Sithole, Louw C. Hoffman, Yvonne M. Hemberger, Francis Dziva

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association; Vol 84, No 1 (2013), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/jsava.v84i1.919

Submitted: 07 August 2012
Published:  13 March 2013

Abstract

The objective of the study was to assess pH measurements between offal organs of different species and the association between pH taken 4 h post-slaughter and different predictor variables in the liver and lungs. A linear regression analysis was conducted on selected variables to identify the main predictors and their interactions affecting the pH of meat 4 h post-slaughter. In an increasing order of magnitude during winter, the pH achieved at 16 h – 36 h post-slaughter in springbok heart, liver, spleen, kidney and lungs was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than pH 6.0. The pH attained in springbok carcasses was (p < 0.05) below 6.0, whilst no significant differences were observed from the regulatory reference (pH 6.0) in the heart. There was a positive association between the pH of game meat 4 h post-slaughter and liver congestion. The pH of game meat 4 h post-slaughter increased by 0.11 units (p < 0.05) per millilitre increase in liver congestion and decreased by 0.04 units (p< 0.05) per minute increase in the shooting-to-bleeding interval, irrespective of the species. The lack of a statistically significant association between some selected variables and pH changes in this study suggested that either the factors may have a small effect which is only detectable with large data-sets and/or the effect may be modified by other unidentified factors. As some of the offal organs had final pH readings above 6.0, alternative measures are required to inactivate certain endogenous pathogens in edible wild game offal sourced from endemic areas.


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Author affiliations

Kudakwashe Magwedere, Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Division of Veterinary Public Health, Directorate of Veterinary Services, Namibia
Fortune Sithole, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Louw C. Hoffman, Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Yvonne M. Hemberger, Division of Veterinary Public Health, Directorate of Veterinary Services, Namibia
Francis Dziva, Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; School of Veterinary Medicine, University of the West Indies, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, Trinidad

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