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Lamb age has little impact on eating quality

Payne, C.E., Pannier, L., Anderson, F., Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 and Gardner, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986 (2020) Lamb age has little impact on eating quality. Foods, 9 (2). Article 187.

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There is an industry wide perception that new season lamb has better eating quality than old season lamb. This study aims to identify differences in consumer eating quality scores between two age classes in lamb. Consumer eating quality scores from eight cuts across the carcass were evaluated from new season (NS; n = 120; average age = 240 days) and old season lambs (OS; n = 121; average age = 328 days), sourced from four different flocks. Cuts were grilled (loin, topside, outside, knuckle and rump) or roasted (leg, shoulder, rack) and scored by untrained consumers for tenderness, juiciness, liking of flavour and overall liking. There was no difference in eating quality scores between the two age classes for the loin, leg, shoulder and rack. This was similarly shown in the topside with the exception of juiciness scores where NS lambs were higher than OS lambs. There was also a lack of age difference in the outside with the exception of flock 3 where NS lambs scored higher than OS lambs for all sensory traits. Across all sensory traits, OS lambs received on average 2.8 scores lower for the knuckle and 3.1 scores lower for the rump compared to NS lambs. These results show little difference in eating quality between NS and OS lamb, and highlight the potential to develop high quality OS or "autumn lamb" products, with a similar premium price at retail as NS lambs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Engineering and Energy
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
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