Effect of pre-slaughter conditions on physico-chemical characteristics of mutton from three sheep breeds slaughtered at a smallholder rural abattoir
The effects of pre-slaughter conditions and breed on physico-chemical characteristics of mutton were determined. The study was conducted at Adelaide Municipal abattoir in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Records were taken from 84 sheep from the South African Mutton Merino, Blackhead Persian and Dorper breeds as identified on arrival at the abattoir. The South African Mutton Merino (SAMM) had the highest values for meat pH at 24 hours (pH24) (5.9 ± 0.64), lightness; L* (34.2 ± 0.97), yellowness; b* (12.2 ± 0.50) and Warner-Braztler shear force WBSF (26.8 ± 1.51). Linear relationships were also observed between pre-slaughter variables and physico-chemical characteristics of mutton. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed a large variation being contributed by meat pH24 and L*. It was therefore concluded that, transport time and lairage duration negatively affected the quality of mutton. Furthermore, breed affected the physico-chemical characteristics of meat.
Keywords: Colour, meat pH24, Principal Component Analysis, transport time, Warner Braztler Shear Force