• Effect of castration and age at slaughter on sensory perception of lamb meat

      Gkarane, Vasiliki; Allen, Paul; Gravador, Rufielyn S.; Diskin, Michael G.; Claffey, Noel A.; Fahey, Alan G.; Brunton, Nigel P; Farmer, Linda J.; Moloney, Aidan P; Monahan, Frank J; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-11-02)
      This study assessed the effect of castration and slaughter age (196–385 days old) on sensory quality of lamb meat from two sheep breeds (Scottish Blackface, SB; Texel x Scottish Blackface, TxSB). Results obtained using a trained sensory panel showed small but statistically significant differences due to castration, with rams having higher scores for Intensity of Lamb Aroma, Animal Smell/Farm Smell, Woolly Aroma, Rancid Aroma, Manure/Faecal Aroma, Sweaty Aroma and Off-flavours. SB lamb had higher scores for Intensity of Lamb Aroma, Lamb Flavour, Lamb Aftertaste, Tenderness and Juiciness. Age effects on sensory attributes were not linear and significant age × gender interactions were observed. The number of samples considered “extreme” in undesirable flavour attributes was higher among rams and T × SB animals. The impact of the sensory differences on consumer acceptability of lamb remains to be established.