The conversion of muscle into meat is a complex process in which all mechanisms responsible for the development of meat qualities are very likely interdependent. Colour and flavour are thus both dependent on oxidative mechanisms. Oxidation and proteolysis are probably two processes involved in the development of meat tenderness. This paper reviewed the consequences of programmed cell death or apoptosis on muscle cells structure and biochemistry and on meat qualities as well. We therefore look at different new hypothesis susceptible to highlight the meat science field and provide new supports for a more dynamic meat research. One of them which would have appeared evident for our purpose since a decade, deals with the fact that, after animal bleeding, muscle cells have no other alternative to only enter the programmed cell death procedure or apoptosis. If we introduce an early phase corresponding to apoptosis, taking place before the rigor onset and overlapping it, we will see that the known consequences of that process bring forward possible answers to still unexplained observations. After an overview of the actual state-of-the-art in meat science, we will introduce the programmed cell death and its underlying mechanisms. We then described the strong analogies between the known consequences of apoptosis and the postmortem changes affecting a set of different muscle characteristics.