Retail audit studies were undertaken in both Sydney and Melbourne to establish benchmarks for quality at the retail level. Midloins were obtained from ticketed carcasses at 14 retail outlets in Sydney, on 3 occasions (2x3) during the same week in March 1994. In Melbourne, midloin samples were obtained from non-ticketed carcasses in 38 and 40 retail outlets in June 1993 and January 1994 respectively. Using an L* value of 32 and a pH value of 5.8 as criteria of acceptability it was found that similar numbers of unacceptable samples occurred in both cities. Using a Warner Bratzler (WB) shear force of 5 kg as an indicator of unacceptable toughness, 15% of samples from Sydney were unacceptable compared to 5% in Melbourne. Carcass age significantly (P<0.001) influenced the WB values for Sydney samples. When WB values were adjusted to 1 or 3 day old equivalents 27% and 6% exceeded 5kg respectively. The results indicate that management options (such as aging), and objective measurement of carcass and meat quality can be applied to increase knowledge and improve the overall quality of lamb and its reputation with consumers.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 55, , 70-71, 1995
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