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Muscle glycogen concentrations in commercial consignments of Australian lamb measured on farm and post-slaughter after three different lairage periods

Jacob, R.H., Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 and Chapman, H.M. (2005) Muscle glycogen concentrations in commercial consignments of Australian lamb measured on farm and post-slaughter after three different lairage periods. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 45 (5). pp. 543-552.

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The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the distribution of glycogen concentrations and ultimate pH (pHu) in 2 different muscle types for lambs slaughtered under commercial conditions in Western Australia, and to compare muscle glycogen concentrations in lambs on farm and after slaughter. The study included 13 different consignments of prime lambs from a range of commercial scenarios. In each consignment, muscle glycogen concentration was measured in a group of lambs on farm and subsequently after slaughter in 3 different lairage groups. The lairage groups were: slaughter on arrival (no lairage), slaughter after 1 day, and slaughter after 2 days in lairage. Biopsies of M. semimembranosus and the M. semitendinosus were taken from live lambs on farm just before farm curfew before transport and from carcasses immediately after slaughter. There was a significant effect of consignment on muscle glycogen concentration. Muscle glycogen concentrations on farm were lower than 1 g/100 g in 4 consignments for the M. semimembranosus and 11 consignments for the M. semitendinosus. The cause of the differences between consignments was unclear as nutrition, genotype and age class were confounded between consignments. Glycogen concentrations were lower and meat pHu higher for sucker lamb compared with carry-over lamb consignments. However, lambs finished on grain-based feedlot rations had higher muscle glycogen concentrations than lambs finished on pasture and sucker lambs when finished on pastures only. Sucker lambs were only crossbred while carry-over lambs included crossbred and Merino genotypes. When data from different consignments were pooled and the effect of consignment was considered, there were no differences between muscle glycogen concentration measured on farm and muscle glycogen concentration measured after slaughter. However, there were differences between sample times within individual consignments. Glycogen concentration at slaughter was different from glycogen concentration on farm in more consignments for M. semitendinosus than M. semimembranosus, suggesting a difference between consignments for the effect caused by stress. Typically, the M. semimembranosus glycogen concentration at slaughter was lower than on farm in consignments consisting of Merino genotypes that had high muscle glycogen concentrations on farm. In the consignments in which lairage time had an effect on muscle glycogen concentration, the differences were small. In some consignments a difference occurred between lairage times for pHu without any difference occurring for muscle glycogen concentration.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © CSIRO 2005
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