Differences in Health-related Fatty Acids, Intramuscular Fat and the Physico-chemical Quality in Mutton as Affected by Season, Place of Purchase and Meat Portion

  • Rani, Zikhona T. (Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare) ;
  • Nantapo, Carlos W.T. (Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare) ;
  • Hugo, Arnold (Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, University of the Free State) ;
  • Muchenje, Voster (Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare)
  • Received : 2014.03.11
  • Accepted : 2014.06.29
  • Published : 2014.11.01


The objective of the study was to determine the quality and fatty acid profiles of mutton cuts purchased from rural and urban localities in South Africa. Five hundred and ten samples were collected in four seasons from both rural and urban shops and butcheries. Samples were immediately transported to the laboratory in cooler boxes with ice where the following physico-chemical characteristics of mutton were determined; meat pH, color ($L^*$, $a^*$, and $b^*$), cooking losses and Warner Braztler shear force and replicates stored at $-20^{\circ}C$ pending fatty acid analysis. Meat $L^*$ values were lowest ($24.7{\pm}0.49$) in winter and highest ($32.2{\pm}0.49$) in spring. The loin and sirloin cuts recorded the highest intramuscular fat whilst rib and leg cuts recorded the lowest intramuscular fat. In conclusion intramuscular fat, fatty acid profiles and physico-chemical quality of mutton were significantly affected by season and meat portion and not necessarily by the locality and class of shop.


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