Submitted to: Animal Production Science
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2010
Publication Date: 4/20/2011
Citation: Wiklund, E., Finstad, G., Aguiar, G., Bechtel, P.J. 2011. Does carcass suspension technique influence reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) meat quality attributes?. Animal Production Science. 51(4):ci-cv. Interpretive Summary: Variation in meat tenderness and techniques developed to minimise this variation, have been investigated in several animal species over a long time period. Carcass suspension techniques have been studied for beef and shown to effect the tenderness of different muscles. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of two different carcass suspension techniques on tenderness, color and water-holding capacity in reindeer meat. A total of 8 reindeer steers (ages 3 – 6 years old) were used in the study. The reindeer were slaughtered under USDA inspection. Carcasses were split along the spine and sides randomly allocated to pelvic suspension (hanged in a butcher hook through the obturator foramen) or normal Achilles tendon suspension (control treatment). Pelvic suspension improved tenderness in the most valuable cuts from the reindeer carcass over the standard carcass suspension prcedures. The study showed that tenderness improvement was possible by changing the carcass suspension technique even in a meat type that is already very tender. Pelvic suspension did not alter meat color, % purge or sensory evaluated juiciness characteristics.
Technical Abstract: A total of 8 reindeer steers (ages 3 – 6 years old) were used in the study to evaluate the effects of carcass suspension technique on meat tenderness, color and water-holding capacity (WHC). Carcasses were split along the spine and sides randomly allocated to pelvic suspension (hanged in a butcher hook through the obturator foramen) or normal Achilles tendon suspension (control treatment). From all 16 carcass halves meat samples were collected from the loin (M. longissimus), inside (M. semimembranosus) and shoulder (M. triceps brachii) for sensory evaluation and measurements of shear force (tenderness). Loin samples were also evaluated for meat color at 1 day post slaughter and for purge (WHC) after vacuum-packaged chilled storage (+2 °C) for 1, 2 and 3 weeks. No significant effects of carcass suspension technique were found for reindeer meat color and WHC (purge). Shear force values for loin samples from pelvic suspended carcasses were lower (p = 0.001) compared with Achilles tendon suspended carcasses, there was a similar trend for inside samples though not significant (p = 0.06). There was no effect of carcass suspension technique for shear force values of the shoulder samples. The trained panel judged loin and inside samples from pelvic suspended carcasses to be more tender (p = 0.001) while no effect of carcass suspension technique on tenderness was found in the shoulder samples. Juiciness was not affected by carcass suspension. It was demonstrated that pelvic suspension indeed improved tenderness in the most valuable cuts from the reindeer carcass.