Ecchymosis is a haemorragic syndrome that appears as small dark spots on the surface of various muscles of a carcass and some organs. It is considered a meat quality defect. In this study eight fallow deer carcasses were completely dissected. Hindquarter muscles showed a significantly higher incidence of ecchymosis compared with forequarter muscles. The most affectedmuscles were the primal cuts from the hindquarter including the striploin. When this information was applied to a wider study of 963 fallow deer carcasses 23.1% had low to moderate ecchymosis in the left round (M. vastus lateralis). In all cases this muscle was a reliable indicator of the presence of ecchymosis in the loins and/or other hind leg primals. In the same carcasses visceral organs such as lung and heart were unreliable indicators of the presence of ecchymosis in skeletal muscles. Castrated bucks were most likely to exhibit ecchymosis followed by does and bucks (P = 0.02).An on-line inspection system for fallow deer was recommended which included an in situinspection of the left round as an accurate means of determining ecchymosisincidence in other valuable commercial cuts.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 68, Brisbane, Australia, 178-182, 2008
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