The occurrence of pale soft and exudative (PSE) muscle in bacon carcasses at two factories in
At two bacon factories (A and B) in South Africa it was found in a survey that 8,6%(n=580) and 5,0%(n=1019) of the carcasses respectively had pH1 values of 6,0 and lower in the M. longissimus dorsi. The mean pH1 values at these two factories were 6,43 and 6,51 respectively. The sex of the pigs as well as the weight and fat thickness of their carcasses had no influence on the occurrence of PSE muscles. Rigor mortis developed much quicker in muscles with a rapid as apposed to a slow post mortem glycolysis. Between 10 and 11%of the producers had pigs with a pH1 value in the muscles of 6,29 and lower. This value is considerably lower than the mean for the two factories. As the genetic make-up of the animals as well as their environment influence the occurrence of PSE muscle in pig carcasses both these aspects of the problem will have to receive the serious attention of the bacon industry of South Africa.