Feeding Systems and the Physicochemical and Sensory Quality of Lamb Meat: Can Feeding Systems Affect Lamb Meat Quality?

Geisa Costa, Renata Ernlund Freitas de Macedo, Fernando Hentz, Odilei Rogerio Prado, Claudio José Araujo da Silva, Cesar Augusto Taconeli, Alda Lúcia Gomes Monteiro

Abstract


This study aims to evaluate the physicochemical characteristics, fat composition, and sensory attributes of lamb meat produced in two feeding systems: (1) Unweaned and unsupplemented lambs in the pasture and (2) early weaned lambs in the pasture with concentrate supplementation post-weaning. The experiment was performed in the winter–spring pastures in the subtropical region of Brazil. The experimental design was completely randomized with two treatments (feeding systems), four paddocks per treatment and twenty lambs (experimental units) per paddock. Carcass weight, dressing percentage, pH, rib eye area, subcutaneous fat thickness, and visual fatness were determined. Loin samples were used for instrumental color, thawing and cooking loss, shear force, water holding capacity, fat and sensory analyses. Carcass pH did not differ between the systems (p > 0.05). Supplemented weaned lambs showed a higher body condition score, carcass weight, dressing percentage and fatness (p < 0.001). They also showed higher (p < 0.05) total fat and long chain fatty acid (FA) content than unweaned lambs. Lamb meat from both systems showed similar and high sensory acceptance. Early weaning and supplementation proved to be a better choice for producing lambs in the winter–spring pasture, under subtropical conditions, because it promoted better carcass and meat traits and good sensory attributes, which could improve payment to the farmers.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jas.v7i4.15500

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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