Experienced meat industry personnel selected lamb carcasses categorised as either well muscled, average muscled or poorly muscled, so that a more objective specification of the carcasses meeting these different descriptions might be made. Well muscled carcasses were found at the blocky (E) end and poorly muscled carcasses toward the middle (Av) of the MLC conformation scale. Poorly muscled carcasses had the longest F, T, cut-leg length, carcass length and M. longissimus dorsi length measurements when compared at similar weights with the other muscling classes. Well muscled carcasses tended to have the highest fat percentage and lowest bone content. There was no difference in muscle content between carcasses of the different muscling types. This ability to recognise muscle content in lamb carcasses may explain the absence of a premium from the meat industry for carcasses with a higher muscle content despite consumer research suggesting that more muscle and less fat is required.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 43, , 101-106, 1983
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