ObjectivesThe objective of this study was to establish consumer eating quality benchmarks of New Zealand lamb by selecting various cuts from a controlled livestock range and across multiple locations and seasons.Materials and MethodsLamb carcasses (n = 325) were selected to fit within 3 GR (fat thickness) score ranges (< 6, 6 to 9, and > 9) within 3 carcass weight brackets [Light (13 to 17 kg), Medium (17.1 to 21 kg), and Heavy (≥ 21.1 kg)]. Four genders were represented: ram, wether, ewe and cryptorchid. Carcasses were selected in February and April from 2 abattoirs in New Zealand in the north and south island. Paired muscles/muscle groups [longissimus dorsi (LD), semimembranosus (SM), rump (gluteus medius and biceps femoris), and knuckle (vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and rectus femoris)] were collected from each carcass, denuded and fabricated into 15-mm slices, aged 1–28 d postmortem, and frozen prior to shipment to the US for sensory evaluation. Consumers (n = 1440) were fed in 5 states across the US and each tested 7 cooked samples by rating tenderness (TEN), juiciness (JUC), flavor liking (FLAV) and overall liking (OL) using 100-mm lines scales. Data was analyzed using PROC GLIMMIX in SAS examining fixed effects of abattoir, kill month, sex, weight bracket, GR bracket, muscle, postmortem aging and consumer feeding location at a significance level of ɑ = 0.05.ResultsCarcass weight influenced (P < 0.01) JUC, but had no effect (P > 0.05) on TEN, FLAV and OL. Heavy carcasses were juicier than middle or light weight carcasses. GR score had no effect on any palatability traits (P > 0.05). Gender impacted TEN and FLAV (P ≤ 0.03), but not JUC or OL (P > 0.05). Ewes were more tender than rams or cryptorchids, but were similar to wethers. Consumers liked the flavor of ewes more (P < 0.05) than wethers or cryptorchids, but had similar FLAV as rams (P > 0.05). Also, south island lambs were favored (P ≤ 0.01) in JUC, FLAV and OL, but there was no difference for TEN. Lambs harvested in February ranked higher (P ≤ 0.02) in all palatability characteristics than April. Rumps were more tender (P < 0.05) than all other muscles, knuckle and LD were intermediate, while SM was least tender. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in JUC for knuckle and rump, but both were juicier (P < 0.01) than LD. Rumps and LD had greater FLAV and OL than knuckles, which were intermediate, and SM were scored lowest for FLAV and OL. Postmortem aging influenced TEN (P < 0.01), as 28 d cuts were scored greater than all other days except 24 d. There was a general trend for increasing TEN as postmortem aging increased, but adjacent periods often had similar TEN scores. The case was the same with JUC, except that 14, 24, and 28 d were similar (P > 0.05). There were no differences (P > 0.05) for FLAV between 7, 14, 24, and 28 d, but 24 and 14 d ranked higher (P < 0.01) than 1 or 2 d. Plus, there was no difference (P > 0.05) between 7, 14, 24, and 28 d for OL, yet 14, 24, and 28 ranked higher (P < 0.01) than 1 and 2 d postmortem age. Lastly, state influenced TEN, JUC, FLAV and OL (P < 0.01). CA had lower TEN and JUC (P < 0.01) than all other states. CO and CA had greater FLAV and OL than all other states (P < 0.05), except TX had similar OL. OH scored FLAV and OL lower than all other states (P < 0.05).ConclusionOverall, region, season, cut and postmortem aging had the most profound effects on lamb consumer eating quality.
Keywords: eating quality, consumer, lamb, New Zealand
How to Cite:
Morrow S. & Garmyn A. J. & Miller M. F., (2018) “US Consumer Assessment of New Zealand Lamb”, Meat and Muscle Biology 2(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.221751/rmc2018.107