Carcass characteristics and meat quality of Suffolk Down suckling lambs
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The object of this project was to study the carcass characteristics and meat quality of Suffolk Down suckling lambs as well as the effects of slaughter weight and sex on these characteristics. Thirty lambs were divided into groups by live weight at slaughter (light or heavy averaging 10.6 or 14.9 kg, respectively) and by sex. Live weight varied from 8.73 to 14.90 kg, hot carcass weight from 4.57 to 8.05 kg, commercial dressing percentage from 51.12 to 54.1%, empty body weight from 53.23 to 57.45%, ribeye muscle area from 8.69 to 12.70 cm(2), and back fat depth from 0.97 to 2.19 mm. The highest retail yields were for shoulder and leg cuts. The anatomical composition of the shoulder was 54.68, 22.98, 17.49, 2.31 and 2.53% for muscle, bone, fat, residue, and shrink losses, respectively, while the percentages for the leg were 55.97, 23.78, 16.62, 1.93 and 1.70%, respectively. The average chemical composition (%) of the fresh meat was: moisture 62.19, protein 18.30, ether extract 17.96, and ash 1.11. The moisture, protein, and ether extract contents varied according to live weight (p < 0.05). A sensory evaluation performed on fillet samples (Psoas major, Psoas minor, Iliacus, and Quadratus lumborum) revealed only one significant difference among groups, a difference in aroma according to live weight (p < 0.05). However, a physical analysis of loin samples (Longissimus dorsi) showed that water holding capacity and tenderness tended to increase with weight as well. Also, as weight increased, emulsification capacity increased in males while tenderness increased in females. The fatty acid profile from samples of the pelvic and perirenal fat showed a high percentage of saturated fatty acids. The results of the evaluations of both carcass composition and meat quality indicate that suckling lambs are a viable option as a marketable meat.
Artículo de Publicación ISI
DOI: DOI: 10.1016/S0921-4488(02)00076-7