Colour Changes in Meat of Foals as Affected by Slaughtering Age and Post-thawing Time

  • Palo, Pasquale De (Department of Public Health and Animal Science) ;
  • Maggiolino, A. (Department of Public Health and Animal Science) ;
  • Centoducati, P. (Department of Public Health and Animal Science) ;
  • Tateo, A. (Department of Public Health and Animal Science)
  • Received : 2012.06.26
  • Accepted : 2012.09.05
  • Published : 2012.12.01


The aim of the present work was to investigate how colour changes of foal meat can vary after thawing out in relation to the slaughtering age of the horses and to the post-thawing time. Eighteen Italian Heavy Draught Horse (IHDH) foals were used for the trial. They were subdivided in three groups according to their slaughtering age (6, 11 and 18 months). Two different surfaces were investigated for each sample: a fresh cut surface (daily renewed cutting surface: DRCS), and not-renewed cutting surface (NRCS). The redness of both investigated surfaces increased with slaughtering age (p<0.01). Moreover, this parameter decreased during post-thawing time (p<0.01) only on the NRCS, probably due to the myoglobin oxidation processes. Colour is an important visual cue denoting perceived quality by consumers. So, by a chromatic perspective the thawed meat of IHDH foals slaughtered at 6 and 11 months proved to be that which best meets the market requirements.


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