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Meat Product Quality from Different Sheep Breeds

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In developed countries the per capita consumption of meat protein is much higher compared with developing countries. The production and consumption in India is also on the increasing trend. The domestic meat demand is also increasing with the increase in awareness and dispensable income. Meat consumption is often an indicator of the status of a country or an individual. It has been found that people with a higher social or economic status demand a greater amount of high-quality nutrients specially the protein. There are different types of meat available to meet out the demand of quality meat. Sheep meat or mutton has been one of the most acceptable meats in the country beyond religious and regional barriers. The concern for the quality meat is also increasing due to growing awareness and health concern. In this age of quality consumers preference is also of vital importance as several cross-breds are being developed which are going to be used for the meat production too. Sheep meat quality is influenced by several factors, and one of them is breed (Hoffman et al., 2003; Purchas et al., 2002; Safari et al., 2001). Hence it is very important to analyse the meat quality parameters of newly developed breeds. According to Warriss (2000), when most people talk about quality they tend to mean the functional quality that refers to desirable attributes in a product such as yield, technological properties and palatability. Meat composition is an important aspect of meat quality and is normally assessed by chemical analysis of constituents i.e. protein, fat, water and ash (Moran and Wood, 1986). Other quality parameters like shear force value, color can also be anaylsed on the instrumental scale to detail the quality attributes in addition to the subjective analysis by a trained panel. This work examines the quality of meat of two breeds where Munjal is the native animal of this area and the Harnali is the cross bred developed in the institute. The influence of breed on the product quality was analysed to produce a descriptive picture of the physicochemical characteristics and sensory attributes on subjective and objective scale. Several studies have been conducted to compare meat quality of sheep but detailed information of these parameters in sheep with respect to breeds is missing in tropical countries like India. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the two different breeds of sheep for their attributes.


Raw material: Breeds of same age reared under similar feeding and managemental conditions were slaughtered and dressed as per the standard procedure in the slaughter house of the department. Carcasses were washed thoroughly and deboned manually after trimming of visible fat and connective tissue. Deboned meat was frozen for 24 hours in a deep freezer (-180C).

Product : For preparation of meat patties deboned meat was minced in an electrical mincer (3 mm plate). For preparation of patties, sodium chloride (1.6 g), sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) (0.3 g), sodium nitrite (0.015 g), spice mix (1.9 g), condiments paste (3 g), refined wheat flour (2 g), water (8 g) and groundnut oil (4 g) were added to minced meat (79.2 g). Minced meat along with additives was mixed in a bowl chopper for 4 - 6 minutes to prepare a stable emulsion. The emulsion was stuffed in a mould to prepare patties of uniform size. After cooking, product was cooled to room temperature, packaged in low density polythene bags and stored at refrigerated temperature for further study.

Analysis : Moisture, protein, fat, ash and crude fibre were measured according to AOAC (1995), pH (Trout et al., 1992), emulsion stability (Baliga and Madaiah, 1970), thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS) (Witte et al., 1970), Cooking yield measured by recording the weight of cooked product and initial raw weight.

The TPA was performed as per the procedure outlined by Bourne (1978) using TAHD Plus Texture Analyser (Stable Micro Systems, England). Samples of 20 mm diameter and 15 mm height were compressed to 50% of their original height. A time interval of 5 s was allowed between two compression cycles. Force time deformation curves were obtained with a 50 kg load cell applied at a cross-head speed of 2 mm/s. Warner Bratzler Shear press measured on samples of 20 mm diameter and 15 mm height by Warner Bratzler cutting blade having rectangular notch. Colour was measured using a Konica Minolta chroma meter CR-400 (Konica Minolta Sensing, Inc., Japan) with 8 mm aperture for measurement. The instrument was calibrated with a white standard plate. Colour scores were expressed as CIE Lab L* (lightness), a* (redness) and b* (yellowness). Sensory evaluation Sensory evaluation was carried by a semi trained panel consisting of ten members from the faculty and research fellows of the department. Sensory attributes viz colour and appearance, flavour, texture, tenderness, juiciness and overall acceptability (OAA) were evaluated using 8 point descriptive scale (where 8 indicates extremely desirable and 1indicates extremely undesirable). Microbial analysis was done at regular interval of 5 days in refrigerated storage as per the APHA(1984). The data obtained were subjected to Duncan’s multiple range test atc 5 % signifiance level (Snedecor and Cochran, 1989).


The physicochemical properties for the meat patties observed between the two breeds indicated that the moisture, protein, fat and ash deferred non-significantly (p<0.05) however Harnali was having the values on higher side for moisture, protein and fat i.e. 66.14, 21.05 and 6.52 respectively(Table 1). Similarly there was a non significant difference(p<0.05) in patties prepared from two breeds for the parameters like crude fiber, pH, TBARS, cooking yield, emulsion stability and water holding capacity, where the quality indicators like pH, TBARS, cooking yield and emulsion stability was found to be higher for the Harnali breed.

The results of chromameter obtained showed that the patties prepared from Harnali appeared darker (L values) however the values were non-significant(p≤0.05) as compared to the patties prepared from the Munjal breeds (Table 2). The patties from Munjal meat were found to be redder (a values) (p≤0.05) than the patties from the Harnali but the difference was again a non significant one. The b values indicating the yellowness in the product was found to be significantly higher for the Harnali breeds. Lien et al. (2001) and Yancey et al. (2011) also reported similar observations in pork loin chops and steaks respectively.

The instrumental observation made through the texture profile analysis indicated significantly higher values in the patties prepared from the Harnali meat for the parameters like hardness, springiness, cohesiveness, gumminess and chewiness where the values for hardness, gumminess and cohesiveness significantly differed. This indicated a lower quality attributes for the products prepared from the Harnali breed. Similar results were observed for the Warner- blatzler shear force values, where the firmness and toughness values were significantly higher, 11.88 N and 106.38 N sec respectively for the patties prepared from Harnali. Similar results were also observed in different meat products by Dominguez et al., 2002, Verma et al. (2009).

The sensory panel scores for the patties from two breeds indicated similar findings. The scores for the sensory parameters indicated higher values for the patties prepared from the Munjal breeds in comparison to the Harnali. The values for parameters like texture, juiciness, tenderness and overall acceptability showed significantly higher values for the Munjal meat patties than the Harnali. Hence both the objective and subjective analysis of the meat products indicated that Harnali has inferior product quality characteristics than the Munjal.

In the storage study of the product prepared from two breeds, the oxidative stability as well as microbial analysis was done. The TBARS values indicating the oxidative potential of the product was found to be in the range of 0.15 mg malonaldehyde/kg to 2.11 mg malonaldehyde/kg over the 20 days of storage period (Table3), where the increase in the values after every five days of storage was found to be significant(p≤0.05) in both the breeds but the values had no significant(p≤0.05) difference when compared between the two breeds on the same day. This was in agreement with the findings of Kumar and Tanwar (2010), Sudheer et al. (2010) and Bhat et al. (2010) who also found a similar increase in TBARS values upon storage of different meat products. A similar trend was found when the patties were subjected for Standard Plate Count (SPC) to study the shelf life of product in refrigerated storage. The SPC was found to be in the range of about 2 logcfu/gm on the 0day and it was more than 6 log cfu/gm after 20 days of storage indicating a shelf life of less than 20 day in refrigerated storage (Table 3). Although the count differed significantly(p≤0.05) after every 5 days of storage but the count between the two breeds had no significant(p≤0.05) difference. Chidanandaiah et al. (2009), Kumar and Tanwar (2010) and Bhat et al. (2010) observed a similar increase in plate count while studying different meat products stored at refrigeration temperature A similar observation was made for the psychrotrophs but the range of count was around 1 logcfu/gm on 0 day which increased to more than 3logcfu/gm after 20 days of storage (Table 3). A similar increase in psychrotrophic count during storage has been reported by Yadav and Sharma (2008).The yeast and mold count depicted overall a similar trend where the difference was found to be non significant one between the two breeds on all the storage days.

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