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Evaluation of carcass and meat quality in light ovine carcasses of the "Ternasco" commercial type

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Authors: M.J. Alcalde, C. Sañudo, J.C. Osorio, J.L. Olleta, I. Sierra
Issue: 95A-1 (49-64)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: lamb, quality, carcass, meat

In the past few years, caused by a traditional consumption and seasonal high prices, is coming to national ovine market and particularly in Aragon, a lot of lambs from very different places and productive systems and, thereby, probably with different qualities. This study was conducted in order to investigate the carcass and meat quality of a hundred and fifty five (155) male lambs belonging to young light lambs (9.0‑12.5 kg) coming from nine different origins: Rasa Aragonesa, Spanish Merina, Manchega and Lacaunel all them weaning lambs and managed and fed in intensive regime. German Merina that was fed in grass and grain finished and cooled British carcasses and New Zealand and Argentine carcasses, all them corning from lambs reared extensively. There are many differences in the conformation of these carcasses but there are not significant effect in the commercial value (first category). The differences in shouder composition are very important. In extensive production system the carcasses are more fatness and those carcasses coming from weaned lambs and with a big adult body size have the smallest percentage of fat.
The differences in meat quality are considerable in the diverse ovine types. British carcasses had lower pH, less instrumental hardness and flavour more intense. Manchega carcasses had high pH and instrumental hardness. British and frozen carcasses had darker meat, more saturated colour and less tone. Lacaune and German Merino lambs were better valued in tenderness, juiciness and overall satisfaction.
It is concluded that there is a big variability in qualities for the same commercial type. This should justify an effort in the carcasses classification to clarify the marker.

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