Carcass evaluation and organoleptic assessment of the meat of giant African rat (Cricetomys gambanus) and grasscutter (Tryonomys swinderianus raptorum).
Carcass yield, chemical composition and organoleptic quality attributes of giant African rat (Cricetomys gambianus) and grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus raptorum) were evaluated. Grasscutter was found to have higher live and carcass weight, higher lean meat yield, but lower dressing percentage than giant African rat. The weights of body components showed direct relationship with the animals' size and sex with male animals having higher values. Chemical composition showed that grasscutter had higher crude protein and lower fat contents than giant African rat. Giant African rat had higher index of water holding capacity and ultimate pH and consequently lower percentage of cooking losses. Variation in carcass quality due to sex were also observed. Significant differences (p<0.05) were observed in sensory quality sources for meat samples with respect to meat color, flavor, tenderness, juiciness and overall acceptability. Grasscutter meat was found to be more palatable.
Key Words: Grasscutter, giant African rat, carcass evaluation, chemical, sensory qualities.