Improving the meat quality of Blesbok (Damaliscus Dorcas Phillipsi) and Springbok (Antidorcas Marsupialis) through enhancement with inorganic salts

Du Buisson, Petro-Mare (2006-03)

Thesis (Msc (Animal Sciences))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


This research had a dual purpose, firstly to study five muscles (M. biceps femoris, M. longissimus et lumborum, M. rectus femoris, M. semitendinosus and M. supraspinatus) of the blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi) and springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) in terms of the physical and chemical meat quality characteristics, and secondly, to investigate the effects of inorganic salt enhancement on the physical, chemical and sensory meat quality characteristics. The muscles differed significantly for the investigated characteristics, with the exception of a* value, chroma, and ash percentage, which did not differ in either blesbok or springbok. Furthermore, no muscle differences were found in fat percentage in blesbok or protein percentage in springbok meat. Muscle differences were found in the stearic acid (C18:0) composition, the percentage saturated fatty acids (SF) and the polyunsaturated: saturated fatty acid ratio (P:S) of the blesbok. Only linoleic acid (C18:2) as a percentage of the total fatty acids differed significantly amongst the springbok muscles. The shear force values were found to be significantly lower in the enhanced samples (blesbok: 25.16 vs. 43.75 N/1.27cm; and springbok: 23.96 vs. 34.89 N/1.27cm), which means that the enhanced muscles were more tender. The enhanced muscles of both species were found to have lower values for all investigated colour characteristics. Moisture values were found to be higher in all the enhanced muscles (blesbok: 76.53% vs. 74.38%; and springbok: 75.34% vs. 73.37%). The lower fat and protein contents of the enhanced muscles can possibly be ascribed to a diluent effect caused by the water added as part of the inorganic salt injection (blesbok: fat, 1.86% vs. 2.22%, protein, 19.61% vs. 21.67%; and springbok: fat, 1.84% vs. 2.14%, protein, 21.23% vs. 23.26%). Major changes in the mineral contents were expected between the two treatments and in both species the enhanced muscles had higher phosphorus, potassium, sodium and copper values, but lower magnesium, iron and zinc levels than the untreated muscles. Analytical sensory analyses were performed on the M. biceps femoris and M. longissimus et lumborum samples of both species. Tenderness and juiciness were significantly higher in the enhanced muscles. Although salty taste was significantly higher in the enhanced muscles due to the addition of the inorganic salt solution, it remained acceptable. Analytical and consumer sensory analyses were performed on blesbok and springbok M. longissimus et lumborum samples prepared in a stock mixture. The outcome of the analytical sensory analysis was similar to the analytical results reported above. The consumer sensory analysis showed that consumers preferred the enhanced blesbok and springbok muscles, with a significant improvement in consumers’ likeness of enhanced vs. untreated meat. This study provides important insights into the muscle differences of two of the most common game species currently utilised in South African meat production. It confirms that both species can be marketed as a low fat organic red meat source well capable of filling the modern consumer’s nutritional and health needs. It also shows that enhancing game meat with an inorganic salt solution might be a very useful processing tool to use to further game meat acceptability in terms of tenderness and juiciness as game meat is often experienced as being dry and less tender because of its lower fat content and the use of incorrect preparation techniques.

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