Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285351

Title: Effects of diet on carcass quality and consumer taste panel acceptance of intact or castrated hair lambs

item Burke, Joan
item Brown, Michael

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2012
Publication Date: 7/9/2012
Citation: Burke, J.M., Brown, M.A. 2012. Effects of diet on carcass quality and consumer taste panel acceptance of intact or castrated hair lambs.[abstract] Journal of Animal Science. 90(3):439.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Forty hair-type lambs were examined in a 70-d study to determine the effects of gender (castrate; C vs. intact; I) and forage type on carcass traits and sensory acceptability. Lambs were procured from a single source in Missouri and one-half were randomly castrated. Lambs were randomly assigned to treatment and housed in individual pens. Equal number of each gender were assigned to 1 of 2 isonitrogenous dietary treatments: alfalfa (Medicago sativa; AL) or sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata; SL). Lambs were slaughtered and carcasses fabricated 48 h postmortem. Wholesale loins were split, vacuum packaged, and randomly assigned to an aging time of 48 h or 14 d before freezing. Minolta color scores were taken on the lateral surface of the loin after 15 min bloom time. A consumer taste panel was conducted using 64 untrained panelists. Approximately 13.5 cm of the loin was cooked to 71°C, cut into 12.7-mm x 12.7-mm pieces, and served at room temperature. Panelists scored samples for color, aroma, texture, aftertaste, juiciness, and overall appeal (1 = strongly disliked and 8 = highly desirable). Data were analyzed using Proc Mixed. The model included the fixed effects of gender, forage, panelist gender, and postmortem aging and all interactions. Non-significant interactions were removed. Initial BW was not different (P = 0.89). At slaughter, I lambs were 4.36 kg heavier and had greater HCW (18.8 vs. 16.6 kg; P = 0.05) than C lambs. Castrate lambs had greater (P = 0.05) a* and b* values than I lambs. Color was rated highest for C than I lambs (5.4 vs. 5.0; P = 0.01). Aging for 14 d had a positive effect on texture and aftertaste (P = 0.05) and there was a diet by lamb gender interaction on texture (P = 0.01). Female panelists preferred the aroma of AL vs. SL lambs (5.3 vs. 4.9; P < 0.04) and male panelists had a greater acceptance of aftertaste than females (5.2 vs. 4.8;P = 0.017). Castrate lambs fed AL were juicier and with a more desirable aftertaste (5.3 vs. 4.9; P = 0.07). Overall, male panelists preferred lamb more than females (5.4 vs. 4.9; P = 0.002). Consumer acceptance of lamb is influenced by diet, gender, and aging of lamb.