Effect of Antler Development Stage on the Chemical Composition of Velvet Antler in Elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis)

  • Received : 2010.12.12
  • Accepted : 2011.04.08
  • Published : 2011.09.01


This study was conducted to provide the basic information to allow improved scientific assessment of velvet antler's quality by investigating the change of chemical composition during different antler growth stages in elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis). Twenty four antlers were harvested from elk stags (aged 4-5 years) on 65 days (VA65), 80 days (VA80) and 95 days (VA95) after button casting, and the chemical composition of each antler was determined in five sections (top, upper, middle, base, and bottom). Crude protein and ether extract content was the highest in the top section, whereas ash content was the highest in the bottom section in all groups (p<0.05). Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content was higher in the VA65 group than in the VA95 group in the upper section of antler (p<0.05). The collagen content was higher in the VA65 group compared to the VA95 group in the middle and bottom sections (p<0.05), and increased downward from the top to the bottom section. The proportions of certain amino acids, including aspartic acid, glutamic acid and isoleucine were higher (p<0.05), whereas proline and glycine were lower in the top section of antler compared to all other sections (p<0.05). The proportion of linoleic acid, 11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid, total ${\omega}$-3 and ${\omega}$-6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for all sections in the VA65 group was higher than in the VA95 group (p<0.05). These results suggested that the quality of velvet antler is strongly influenced by antler development stage.


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