Venison from red deer (Cervus elaphus) is marketed as a premium quality, healthy red meat. Ideally, meat-quality attributes need to be measured prior to sale. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has potential for the measurement of sensory, nutritional and technological parameters in beef, but its use on venison has not yet been considered. The aim was to evaluate NIRS for predicting Warner-Bratzler shear-force parameters, meat colour, ultimate pH, sarcomere length and water holding capacity of venison short-loins. Samples were halved, vacuum packaged, aged for either 3 or 42 d at 1±1°C and frozen, then defrosted for meat-quality assessment and acquisition of spectral data. In total, 154 samples (3 and 42 d aged) were divided into calibration (75%) and validation datasets (25%). Using partial-least squares regression, calibration equations were tested on the validation dataset. Prediction accuracies ranged from R2 =8.3%, (SEpred =2.42) for meat lightness to R2 =66.6%, (SEpred =0.10) for ultimate pH, suggesting that NIRS maybe useful for predicting some venison quality parameters.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 74, Napier, 17-22, 2014
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