Effect of stunning methods on quality of rabbit carcass and meat
This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of different stunning methods on the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of rabbit carcass and meat. Thirty six mature rabbits of mixed breeds and sexes with average weight of 1.5 – 2.0kg were used. The rabbits were randomly assigned to four experimental treatments (T1-T4); T1 represented No stunning (control), T2 = Electrical stunning, T3 = Gas stunning and T4 = Mechanical stunning. Each treatment was replicated thrice and the experiment was arranged on completely randomized design. The rabbits were bled after stunning, dressed conventionally and chilled at 40C for 24 hours. Thereafter the were dissected into 2 halves and fabricated into primal cuts. Carcass characteristics as well as physical, chemical and sensory properties of the rabbit meat were determined. The results showed that carcasses of rabbits stunned with gas gave higher (P<0.05) blood loss and lower (P<0.05) chilling loss. Also visual colour score, cooking yield, protein, nitrogen free extract, cooked meat colour, flavour, texture and overall acceptability were higher (P<0.05), while cooking loss, thermal shortening, drip loss, moisture and pH were lower (P<0.05) in meat from rabbits stunned with gas compared with meat from other treatments. Gas stunning was therefore, recommended since it favoured most of physicochemical and sensory characteristics of both carcass and meat of differently stunned rabbits in this study.
Keywords: Evaluation, Meat, Quality, Rabbit, Stunning.