The Effect of On-Farm Slaughter via Gunshot and Conventional Slaughter on Sensory and Objective Measures of Beef Quality Parameters

Markus S. Friedrich, Katrin J. Schiffer, Stefanie Retz, Caroline Stehling, Ingrid Seuß-Baum, Oliver Hensel


Beef quality parameters can be negatively affected by pre-slaughter stress. Slaughter via gunshot directly on the pasture appears to be suitable for the reduction of pre-slaughter stress by avoiding stressors such as transportation, lairage and human contact. The effect of slaughtering via gunshot on sensory and objective measures of beef quality parameters for the Musculus longissimus dorsi of Galloway steers was analyzed and compared to conventional slaughter at the abattoir using captive-bolt stunning. The Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) was significantly (P < 0.01) lower for the meat of the animals slaughtered via gunshot (arithmetic mean (AM) gunshot: 4.34 kg; AM captive-bolt pistol: 4.77 kg). However, trained assessors were not able to recognize this difference (P > 0.05). No significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed for cooking loss and the sensory quality evaluation of juiciness. As measured by the WBSF, the meat of the animals slaughtered via gunshot was slightly more tender than was the meat of the animals stunned with a captive-bolt pistol. However, for the cooking loss and sensory evaluations, no effect of the slaughter methods was observed. Nevertheless, this study reveals the potential that slaughter via gunshot provides for the improvement of beef quality.


beef, pre-slaughter stress, tenderness, juiciness, sensory evaluation, Warner-Bratzler shear force

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887(Print)   ISSN 1927-0895(Online)

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