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Title: Quantification of the Biological Factors that Determine Lamb Tenderness
Contributor(s): Starkey, Colin  (author); Geesink, Gerrit  (supervisor); Hopkins, David (supervisor); Oddy, Victor  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2016-04-30
Copyright Date: 2015-09-04
Thesis Restriction Date until: 2017-04-30
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Related DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.02.011

Meat tenderness is an important meat quality trait. The variation in meat tenderness has a negative effect on consumer's perceptions and thus will impact on repeat purchasing decisions. Meat tenderness is known to be affected by many factors such as muscle fibre shortening, post-mortem proteolysis and collagen content.

Experiment 1 (Chapter 3) focused on using the aforementioned factors to explain the amount of variation in tenderness in the longissimus muscle of 3 different ageing time periods. It was found that measures of post-mortem proteolysis combined with collagen content and sarcomere length (measure of muscle fibre shortening) explained just under 40% of the variation in shear force tenderness of the longissimus muscle. Particle size analysis accounted for 32% of the explainable variation across the different aging periods. It was concluded that to improve the tenderness of lamb longissimus, methods need to focus on improving the extent of post-mortem proteolysis.

Experiment 2's (Chapter 4) main aim was to identify if there was variation between shear force tenderness between different laboratories. 26 longissimus samples were collected and aged for 2 alternate aging periods. Each laboratory used different cooking methods and machine settings. Strong correlations were observed for the data from each laboratory (r = 0.79). It was concluded that provided there were sufficient replications performed across other sources of variation, the two laboratories will rank shear force samples the same.

Experiment 3 (Chapter 5) utilised three different ovine muscles (longissimus, biceps femoris and semimembranosus) with the aforementioned traits and the inclusion of IMF (intramuscular fat) to identify the variation in both sensory (longissimus and semimembranosus) and shear force (all three muscles) tenderness. It was found that for the longissimus shear force samples that IMF, sarcomere length and desmin degradation were the significant factors. However, sensory tenderness for the longissimus had IMF, ultimate pH and gender as the significant factors. For the semimembranosus, desmin degradation was the best predictor for both sensory and shear force tenderness. The biceps femoris utilised soluble collagen and animal age for shear force samples. It was concluded that different factors impact on tenderness across different muscles and no one prediction model applied effectively across all muscles.

Based on the results of these experiments, no one model will be effective in predicting the explainable variation in tenderness in different muscles. Further research is warranted to identify how different muscles are influenced by these aforementioned traits. The suggested project would encompass 12 different muscles from different positions on the carcase to identify how carcases respond to muscle shortening, aging and collagen content. This will allow processors to adapt new methods to allow for the production of more tender lamb.

Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070299 Animal Production not elsewhere classified
070201 Animal Breeding
079999 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300399 Animal production not elsewhere classified
300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
830310 Sheep - Meat
830599 Primary Animal Products not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280101 Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
100412 Sheep for meat
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
Description: Please contact if you require access to this thesis for the purpose of research or study.
Appears in Collections:School of Environmental and Rural Science
Thesis Masters Research

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