Submitted to: Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2007
Publication Date: 3/3/2008
Citation: Wiklund, E., Finstad, G., Johansson, L., Aguiar, G., Bechtel, P.J. 2008. Carcass composition and yield of Alaskan reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) steers and effects of electrical stimulation applied during field slaughter on meat quality. Meat Science. 78(3):185-193. Interpretive Summary: It is essential for reindeer meat producers, abattoir managers and wholesale distributors to have knowledge about carcass composition and the yield of primal and lower quality cuts to estimate the potential market value of a carcass to develop business strategies. The first objective of this study was to determine carcass yield and composition to illustrate the proportion of primal and less valuable cuts in typical slaughter animals from the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Objective two was to evaluate the use of electrical stimulation and hot boning in a field-slaughter setting and the further processing of frozen meat to improve the quality of less tender reindeer cuts (shoulder meat). And objective three was to evaluate the effect of electrical stimulation of reindeer carcasses on sensory and mechanical tenderness as well as water-holding properties of the striploin (M. longissimus) was determined. Results from this study demonstrate that electrical stimulation increased tenderness in hot boned cubed and sliced products made from field slaughtered reindeer shoulder meat. Loins from carcasses conditioned for 48 hours prior to processing were similar in color and sensory panel tenderness although electrical stimulation did result inmore tender meat. Electrical stimulation in combination with the right processing methods can be used in field slaughter systems for reindeer to increase the quality and value of lower valued forequarter meat.
Technical Abstract: Twenty six adult reindeer steers (> 3 years old) were used in a study to evaluate the effect of electrical stimulation (ES) on the quality of hot-boned shoulder meat obtained immediately after slaughter, and then rapidly frozen; and of the striploin (M. longissimus, LD) from carcasses held in +3 °C cooler for 48h. Carcass yield and composition was determined from the left carcass half from which the shoulder meat was not removed. The shoulder meat was processed frozen into cubed, sliced or ground products. Carcass yield, proximate composition of the LD, meat color and water-holding capacity were similar for the ES (n=15) and non electrical stimulation (NES; n=11) groups. Ultimate pH and shear force values were significantly lower in the ES meat (LD); however, a trained sensory panel could not detect differences between the two groups in any of the measured sensory attributes. Consumer preference tests demonstrated that ES increased tenderness in the cubed and sliced products made from field slaughtered reindeer shoulder meat. ES in combination with hot boning and processing of shoulder meat can be used in field-slaughter systems for reindeer and results in improved meat quality and increases the potential value of the carcass.