The effect of aging and muscle type on the quality characteristics and lipid oxidation of lamb meat
The research carried out on meat from 45 ram lambs of the Polish merino breed allowed to determine the effect of meat aging and muscle type on physicochemical characteristics and oxidative stability of lipids. Analysis of physicochemical traits (pH, meat color, expressed juice, cooking loss, shear force, moisture, protein, fat and total collagen content) was performed on fresh and meat aged for 14 d in the longissimus lumborum (LL) and gluteus medius (GM) muscles. The meat aging determined all physicochemical characteristics except protein and fat content. More changes in pH and meat color parameters were defined in the GM muscle compared to the LL muscle. The increase in the tenderness of meat expressed as a reduction (P < 0.05) of shear force values was observed in both muscles aged for 14 d. A lower value (P < 0.05) of the shear force, despite the higher content of collagen, was determined in the GM muscle compared to LL. The investigated muscles differed in the degree of lipid peroxidation expressed as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in both fresh and aged meat. The TBARS value was lower (P < 0.05) in the LL muscle than in GM. In the longissimus lumborum muscle, the significantly lower content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and PUFA n-6 has been recorded. The oxidation stability was not influenced by the meat aging.