Medycyna Wet. 67 (8), 531-535, 2011
Florek M., Litwińczuk Z.
Conversion of muscle into meat – the role of apoptosis
The conversion of muscle into meat is a complex process in which all mechanisms responsible for the development of meat qualities are very likely interdependent. Understanding the complicated biochemical mechanisms regulating cell death processes after slaughter may help us in the future to provide better solutions for pre-slaughter animal handling and post-slaughter interventions to manage meat toughness. Differentiating muscle cell death processes after slaughter from apoptosis or necrosis may consequently lead to enhanced technological meat quality. Many results have indicated that a number of molecules such as those from the caspase family are likely to be involved in the cell death process after slaughter and also in meat tenderization. Apoptosis as a unique possible route for cells and tissues of a dead animal and for all animal species may constitute a new way of thinking about the post-mortem development of the organoleptic qualities of the final product, namely meat. Analysis of the consequences of apoptosis can brings possible answers to many questions about the conversion of muscle into meat.
Key words: muscle, meat qualities, post-mortem changes, apoptosis