Meat quality and muscle fibre type characteristics of Southdown Rams from high and low backfat selection lines

I. T. Kadim, R. W. Purchas, A. S. Davies, A. L. Rae, R. A. Barton

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Characteristics of the meat of 15-18-month Southdown rams from lines selected for high or low backfat depths (assessed ultrasonically at position C over the last rib) were compared. Half of the carcasses were electrically stimulated (ES) and within each carcass post-mortem treatments chosen to produce effects on meat tenderness were ageing periods of 1 or 15 days (Semimembranosus), early or delayed chilling (Biceps femoris), and trimming of the s.c. fat cover (Longissimus dorsi). These treatments had the expected effects on shear values, but the sizes of the effects were little affected by selection line or ES treatment. Selection line did not have any direct effects on shear values, reflectance values at several wavelengths, waterholding capacity, cooking loss or sarcomere length. The Semitendinosus muscle had a higher proportion of predominantly oxidative fibres for the high-backfat line, based on succinic dehydrogenase activity (P <0·05), but there was no line difference in alkaline-stable ATPase activity in the same muscle. Muscle fibre diameter was similar for the two lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalMeat Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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