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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Sensory meat quality, ultimate pH values, blood parameters and carcass characteristics in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.) grazed on natural pastures or fed a commercial feed mixture

Wiklund E, Johansson L, Malmfors G


Sensory properties in meat, ultimate muscle pH values, blood metabolites and carcass characteristics from reindeer grazed on natural pasture (n = 23) or fed a commercial feed mixture (n = 17) were studied. Reindeer fed commercial feed generally had lower ultimate pH values (increased glycogen stores) in all three muscles measured (Mm. triceps brachii, longissimus and biceps femoris) compared with the animals grazing natural pasture. Raised plasma urea concentrations in all reindeer were explained by a relatively high intake of protein for both treatments. Aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) activities in all animals were low, and did not indicate muscle degeneration due to stress. However, the measured plasma cortisol concentrations showed that all reindeer were affected by the immediate pre-slaughter handling. Sensory evaluation was performed both as a descriptive test using a selected and trained panel, and as a preference test carried out with two groups of consumers (experienced and non-experienced reindeer meat eaters). The trained panel concluded that meat from reindeer fed commercial feed scored higher for liver and sweet flavour intensities and lower for off-flavour compared with meat from reindeer grazing natural pasture. The consumer test showed no effect of consumer age, gender or residence on the preference for meat from reindeer on either feed. The importance for the reindeer industry to acknowledge and use the differences in flavour and consumer preference as a specialised marketing strategy for reindeer meat is discussed. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Food Quality and Preference
2003, Volume: 14, number: 7, pages: 573-581

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    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Veterinary Science
      Animal and Dairy Science
      Food Science

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