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The effects of nutrition and genotype on the growth and development, muscle biochemistry and consumer response to lamb meat

Pethick, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677, Heggarty, R. and Hopkins, D. (2004) The effects of nutrition and genotype on the growth and development, muscle biochemistry and consumer response to lamb meat. In: Agribusiness Sheep Updates, 27 - 28 July, Perth, Western Australia pp. 53-54.

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A lamb growth experiment was conducted with the objective of understanding the genetic and nutritional influences on growth and development, and on the biochemical and sensory attributes of muscle and meat. Growth and carcass traits showed significant positive effects when lambs were raised on a high plane of nutrition. The expression of greater genetic potential for growth was facilitated by nutrition with the genetic effect being reduced by 60% in the low nutrition group. By contrast, the expression of genetic potential for eye muscle development was not reduced by nutrition. Slower rates of growth as a result of low nutrition reduced fat deposition beyond that attributable to weight indicating slow growth per se will reduce carcass fatness. The amount of fat in the carcass of the lambs in the high nutrition treatment was reduced in the lambs from highly muscled sires strongly indicating that selection for eye muscle depth biologically programs the partition of nutrients toward muscle. Muscle biochemistry was strongly influenced to become more anaerobic and less aerobic in the animals sired by the muscle selected lines suggesting that selection at this axis strongly impacts on the biological makeup of muscle. There is a suggestion that selection for muscling reduces the consumer appreciation of grilled lambs steaks but this needs further analysis and testing especially given the very large financial incentives to both producers, processors and retailers of highly muscled prime lambs.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Department of Agriculture
Copyright: © Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Agriculture 2004
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