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Differences in calpain system, desmin degradation and water holding capacity between commercial Meishan and Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire crossbred pork

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The objective of this study was to examine the differences in calpain system, desmin degradation, pH values and water holding capacity (WHC) between muscles of commercial Meishan and Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire crossbred pigs. Meishan pork presented better WHC evidenced by lower purge loss at days 1 and 3 and less centrifugation loss at day 1 post mortem (P < 0.05). pH values at 45 min post mortem in Meishan pork were significantly higher compared to crossbred pork (P < 0.05). Calpain‐1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was lower in Meishan pork compared to that from crossbred pork (P < 0.05). Additionally, calpain‐1 activity, the ratio of calpain‐1 to calpastatin activity and desmin degradation were lower in Meishan pork compared to those from crossbred pork samples (P < 0.05). The results indicate that the calpain system including mRNA expression and activity were different between commercial Meishan and crossbred pork resulting in difference in the degree of desmin degradation during post mortem aging. pH values at 45 min and 24 h post mortem rather than calpain activity and desmin degradation could explain the higher water holding capacity in commercial Meishan pork.
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Keywords: Meishan; calpain; pH values; post mortem proteolysis; water holding capacity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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