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Meat quality of lamb: Pre-slaughter fattening on cultivated or mountain range pastures

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Meat Science ; Volume 83. p. 706–712. 2009

Lind, Vibeke; Berg, Jan; Eik, Lars Olav; Mølmann, Jørgen A; Haugland, Espen; Jørgensen, Marit; Hersleth, Margrethe

Many consumers perceive lamb meat from mountain pastures to be of superior quality, a quality that may be altered if lambs are kept for a longer period on cultivated pastures before slaughtering. The objective of this experiment was to compare sensory profile and fatty acid composition in meat from lambs slaughtered directly from unimproved mountain pastures with meat from lambs raised on unimproved mountain pastures and fattened on biodiverse cultivated pastures for 26, 39 and 42 days before slaughtering. The experiment was conducted at two different locations in Norway in 2006 and 2007, with a total of 124 Norwegian Crossbred Sheep lambs. Loin samples of M. Longissimus dorsi from lambs above a body weight of 40 kg were selected and analysed for sensory attributes. Fatty acid composition was determined in the subcutaneous fat over the Longissimus dorsi. Small but significant differences were found in hardness, tenderness, fattiness, metallic and rancid flavour, and in polyunsaturated fatty acids. This indicates that to a small extent pre-slaughter fattening on cultivated pastures alters meat characteristics. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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