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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Influence of production system, age and sex on carcass parameters and some biochemical meat quality characteristics of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.)

Sampels, S; Pickova, J; Wiklund, E


Carcass composition in reindeer is affected by feed intake and the age and sex of the animal. Studies have also shown that age, sex, carcass trim fat content and total intramuscular fat content (IMF) influence lipid class composition. The aim of this study was to compare lipid class composition and IMF in relation to carcass weight, conformation and trim fat content, and to investigate how these parameters are affected by age, sex and different feed sources. Five groups of reindeer were studied. Two groups of calves were fed two grain-based pelleted feeds with different lipid compositions for approximately two months before slaughter. One of these groups was fed with conventional pellets, and the other with pellets enriched with linseed cake to increase the amount of n-3 fatty acids in the diet. Three groups of grazing reindeer were also included in the study, consisting of adult males, adult females or calves. Reindeer calves fed pellets had higher slaughter weights, higher trim fat content and better carcass conformation scores compared to the grazing calves. However, there was no significant difference in IMF between pellet-fed and grazing calves. Adult female reindeer had the highest and grazing calves the lowest slaughter weights, trim fat and IME There was no difference in lipid class composition in meat from calves fed with the two pelleted feeds, whereas grazing calves had a higher amount of phospholipids. Squalene was identified and quantified as a component of intramuscular lipids in reindeer meat


animal nutrition; human nutrition; lipid classes; pasture; squalene

Published in

2005, volume: 25, number: 2, pages: 85-96
Publisher: Nordic Council for Reindeer Research (NOR)

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Food Science
Wiklund, Eva
Sampels, Sabine

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science
Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)