Physical and chemical carcass composition of springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi) and impala (Aepyceros melampus)
The aims of the study were to determine the body composition of springbok, blesbok and impala and to compare the chemical composition (moisture, protein, fat, ash) of the 9th-10th-11th rib cut samples with that of the carcass. The proportional distribution of protein in the carcass, external (heart, feet and skin) and internal offal (heart, heart fat, liver, lungs and trachea, kidneys, kidney fat, spleen, testis, gastro intestinal tract (GIT) fat, diaphragm, stomachs and intestines) was also determined. The physical composition of all three game species followed the same pattern when expressed as a percentage of empty body weight. Impala had a higher (P<0.05) proportional percent protein in the carcass compared to springbok or blesbok. Male springbok, blesbok and impala recorded a significantly lower fat content, but higher moisture content in the carcass and 9th-10th-11th rib cut than the females. No significant correlation was evident between the chemical protein (on an as-is basis) content of the carcass and 9th-10th-11th rib cut samples for any of the game species studied (springbok: r2=-0.06, blesbok: r2=0.44, impala: r2=0.26). The protein content of only 9th-10th-11th rib cut samples from springbok (r2=0.76) correlated well with the protein content of the carcass on a dry matter basis. The three game species investigated have possible better potential for lean meat production compared to domestic livestock. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.