stress intolerance, taking an active,
holistic approach to reducing pre-and post-mortem stress levels will be
key to producers in decreasing levels
of PSE turkey meat in their plants.
Professor Owens comments:
“Turkeys and swine are both
subjected to similar environmental
stress, such as heat stress, pre-slaughter handling practices and
transportation. These can lead to a
higher level of PSE in these animals.
Therefore finding ways to lower
those stress levels will be critical to
“For example, newer techniques
in gas stunning methods where
turkeys are stunned while on the
truck after it arrives at the processing
plant, rather than after they have
been placed on the line, may help
to reduce PSE by decreasing the
Environmental factors in the
post-mortem environment can also
contribute to PSE, even in normal,
non-stressed animals, according
to the researchers. For example,
inadequate chilling, which turkeys are
susceptible to given their relatively
large body size and muscle mass, can
contribute to PSE.
Top five turkey consumption countries (2007, in pounds per capita)
Source: National Geographic
Israel leads the world’s per capita consumption of turkey in part due to the meat’s cost
advantage in comparison with beef, but also because it is kosher.
Current solutions to
PSE are limited, but
new methods are
Current solutions to PSE are
limited, but new methods to reduce
its prevalence are under examination.