Comparative analysis of retail cuts, muscle physico-chemical properties and meat tenderness of indigenous castrate sheep finished off under feedlot conditions

Eligy Japhet Shirima, Louis Athuman Mtenga


A 4x3 factorial design experiment involving 120 indigenous castrate  sheep fed for a total of 84 days in feedlot conditions was carried out to evaluate age at entry to feedlot (AEF) and level of concentrate feeding (LCF) on retail cuts yields, muscle physico-chemical properties and meat tenderness. The AEF were 9. 12, 15 and 18 months designated as AEF9. AEF12 AEF15 and  AEF18 treatments while LCF were 50%, 75% and 100% designated as  LCF50, LCF575 and LCF100, respectively. The proportion of neck, breast, chump and shoulder cuts to cold carcass weight (CCW) were not affected (p>0.05) with AEF while that of hind leg decreased by 11% when LCF increased from LCF50 to LCF100. The fat tissue increased (p<0.01) while muscle and bone tissues decreased (p<0.05) with increasing LCF50 and LCF100. The pH decline at pH6 was 2.6% higher than pH24 which was 1.7% with increasing LCF. Overall cooking losses of m. longissimus thoracic et lumborum, semimembranosus and supraspinosus muscles decreased (p<0.001) while tenderness increased (p<.0.001) from 26.8 to 21.2Ncm-2 (21%) with ageing duration from 0-d to 9-d. There was a significant (p<0.05) interaction between AEF and dietary levels on the WBSF of the SM muscles such that the decrease of  shear force was attained at AEF15. Encouraging results have been obtained to suggest that feedlotting of AEF12 and AEF15 under LCF100 for 84 days gives maximum weights of retail cuts and tenderness.


Key words: Cooking loss; Feedlot; Indigenous sheep; Retail cuts; Tenderness



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