Quality Characteristics and Composition of the Longissimus Muscle from Entire and Castrate Elk in Korea

  • Kim, Sang-Woo (Animal Genetic Resources Center, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Kwan-Woo (Animal Genetic Resources Center, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Park, Seong-Bok (Animal Genetic Resources Center, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Myung-Jick (Animal Genetic Resources Center, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Yim, Dong-Gyun (Department of Public Health Administration and Food Hygiene, Jinju Health College)
  • Received : 2015.07.08
  • Accepted : 2015.11.13
  • Published : 2016.05.01


The objective of the research was to determine the chemical composition as well as the physicochemical properties of the longissimus muscle from Korean entire and castrate elk. Twelve elk stags were raised and fed on concentrate with ad libitum hay. All animals were equally divided into castrated and non-castrated (entire) males, and slaughtered at 5 year of age. It was found that entire elk, in comparison with castrate elk, had higher content of moisture and lower content of fat (p<0.05). Compared with entire males, the castrates had lower pH and shear force values (p<0.05). However, castrates had higher $L^*$, $a^*$, and $b^*$ values compared with entires (p<0.05). An analysis of the fatty acid profile revealed that the muscles of entire and castrate elk had the most abundant concentrations of the following fatty acids: palmitic acid (C16:0) of the saturated fatty acid, and oleic acid (C18:1n-9) of the unsaturated fatty acid. The entire elk contains higher proportions of linoleic acid (C18:3n6), eicosenoic acid (C20:1n9), and arachidonic acid (C20:4n6) (p<0.05). Cholesterol content in elk was not affected by castration. The predominant free amino acid was glutamic acid related to umami taste. It is apparent that the castrate animals carried higher content of histidine, isoleucine, and leucine than those of the entire group (p<0.05). In this study, it was concluded that venison quality of elk is affected by castration and these results can provide fundamental information for venison production.


Grant : cooperative research program (protein requirement for growing stage of goat and deer)

Supported by : Rural Development Administration


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