Meat quality characteristics of springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis). 1: Physical meat attributes as influenced by age, gender and production region
Springbok is the most extensively cropped game species in South Africa. The effects of age (adult, sub-adult, lamb), gender and production region on the physical attributes (pH24, cooking and drip loss, Warner Bratzler shear force and colour) were determined using samples of the M. longissimus dorsi (LD) muscles of 166 springbok. Stressed animals had a higher (P < 0.05) pH24 (6.3 ± 0.07), as observed in the meat originating from the Caledon region. This meat had lower (P < 0.05) cooking loss (27.2 ± 0.62%) and drip loss (1.8 ± 0.08%) values in comparison to meat originating from the other regions. Inverse correlations were noted between pH24 and drip loss (r = -0.26, P < 0.01) and cooking loss (r = -0.42, P < 0.001). Shear force values (kg/1.27 cm diameter) correlated positively (r = 0.25, P < 0.01) with pH24. Age-related effects on tenderness were small in comparison with pH24 effects. CIELab colorimetric values were typical of game meat and venison (L* < 40, high a* and low b* values). It was noted that pH24 correlated negatively (r = -0.51, P < 0.001) and positively (r = 0.33, P < 0.001) with the hue-angle and the chroma value of colour, respectively. Springbok originating from Caledon had a significantly (P < 0.05) higher a* value, indicating meat to be more red with higher colour saturation. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.