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Dark cutting beef occurs when muscle glycogen levels are depleted prior to slaughter. Without glycogen, lactic acid is not produced in postmortem muscle, causing a higher than normal muscle pH. This research was conducted to identify the threshold level of glycogen where the dark cutting condition is likely to occur. These data from muscles varying widely in pH suggest that muscle glycogen levels need to be at or above 80 mmol/kg to prevent the dark cutting beef condition.