The effects of post-mortem temperature and ultimate pH (pHu, 24 h post mortem) on the development of the pale, soft and exudative (PSE) characteristics in pig longissimus dorsi muscle were studied. Ten out of the 13 pigs used received pre-slaughter injections of adrenaline in order to deplete muscle glycogen stores. The two muscles from each pig were held at 12 or 35°C during rigor mortis development. Results from covariance analysis, using pHu as covariate, showed that a high temperature (35°C) resulted in a dramatic increase in internal light scattering (FOP) 24 h post mortem and a significant decrease in water- and salt-soluble proteins. Cooking loss, sarcomere length and drip loss did not vary significantly with rigor temperature. Interaction between temperature and pHu was estimated by assessing the relationship between pHu and the difference between the two rigor temperatures for selected traits. The best predictive model was a segmented quadratic model with a plateau which gave significant results for FOP, drip loss, water- and salt-soluble proteins. The effect of temperature decreased curvilinearly when pH increased until a constant value above which no noticeable difference was recorded (drip loss, water- and salt-soluble proteins) or a constant difference was reached (FOP). The pH values corresponding to the convergence points differed from one trait to another. They ranged from 5·72 to 6·22. These results illustrate the importance of muscle glycogen content at slaughter and subsequent pHu with regard to the development of temperature-induced PSE meat.