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1. Introduction
Meat quality is a complex concept as it involves many factors that must be taken into consideration when defining it. Such elements can determine the potential quality of meat on the way from producer to consumer and several parameters on the production or handling system, including breed, age, gender, weight, feeding and pre-slaughter management must be observed. In fact, pricecan be a measure of quality. Quality and safety in meat guarantees nutritional quality and want quality in the way the food is produced. Meat quality can be defined by some parameters such as pH value, color, water holding capacity (WHC), intramuscular fat (IMF), fatty acid composition and the tenderness of the meat. An important aspect to verify after slaughter is the pH value tightly relatedwith the tenderness [1]. This value in the post-mortem stage will define if it will be a Pale Soft and Exudative (PSE) or Dark Firm and Dry (DFD) meat.
Throughout the world it is a well known fact that pork meat is one of the most frequently eaten meats and its consumption continues to rise. There are several and different autochthonous breeds all over Spain. In the Northwest of Spain (Asturias) wecan find a particular breed known as Asturcelta, a local swine breed that was almost extinguished in the late nineties. In 2007, with the purpose of gathering the last few specimens spread by several villages in this region and recover this unique breed, this local breed was recognized by the National Register [2] through the Pig Breeders Association (ACGA) at the Ministry for Agriculture andFishery’s request. With the combined effort of many producers and the staff association in 2011 a total of 1711 animals were supposed to exist [3].
The Gochu Asturcelta breed has long been known for its efficiency in gaining weight and its peculiar physiognomy. Characterized by its small and shiny eyes, long and pendent ears, elongated hair with black and white spots, these animals can achieve abody length of 1.5 meter from the head to the tail insertion. Its average weight is between 180 - 190 kg [4]. Raised in a semi extensive system, these animals have possessed their excellent carcass quality from primeval times. The quality of the Asturcelta meat is distinctive because it has a greater proportion of lean meat intermixed with streaks of fat. This intramuscular fat gives more marblingto the meat as compared to other more popular breeds in meat consumption. Intramuscular fat (IMF) content of pork muscle is considered to be a key factor that influences the sensory characteristics of both meat and meat products [5, 6].
To establish a fast and recognized standard quality of this autochthone meat, it became vital to study and create a physical-chemical characterization. The commontechniques to determine meat quality parameters are extremely time consuming, destructive and expensive [7]. Roza de la et al [8] described that near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS) technology has a higher precision to predict animal response. Many studies have confirmed the ability of near infra-red (NIR) spectroscopy to predict the content of main chemical components such as crude protein (CP),IMF, (referred to ether extract) and moisture/dry matter (M/DM) in beef [9-11]. Recently, portable reflectance spectrophotometers have been developed that enable data spectra recovery in strategic points such as in the slaughterhouses. In this study, a compact and versatile device was used which allows at-line measurements with the advantage of rapid deployment and simple integration into existingprocesses.
An innovative technology based on a combination of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) and digital transform spectroscopy (DTS) was developed to a portable NIR spectrometer. This new device allows the compilation of spectra data in the labor field with high contrast pixelate. Several recent studies have been evaluating this technology in the agro-food area [12-15]. This...
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