The effect of breed and body weight at slaughter on histochemical muscle fiber characteristics and meat quality of longissimus lumborum and semitendinosus lamb muscles

Rant, Witold; Radzik-Rant, Aurelia

The skeletal muscles of mammals are composed of fibers of different morphological, metabolic and functional characteristics. The properties of muscle fibers may be determined genetically as well as by environmental factors such as the age of the animals, their physical activity, the level of nutrition, or the selection intensity. The present study was conducted to determine the influence of genotype (Polish Lowland vs. Polish Heath) and body weight at slaughter (23–25 kg vs. 35–40 kg) of lambs on histological characteristics of muscle fibers in musculus longissimus lumborum (LL) and musculus semitendinosus (ST) skeletal muscles and their impact on chosen meat quality features. Three types of muscle fibers were identified: slow-twitch oxidative (STO), fast-twitch oxidative (FTO) and fast-twitch glycolytic (FTG). Differences in the diameters of individual fiber types between the LL and ST muscles have been found in both investigated genotypes. The diameters of the analyzed types of fibers were usually larger in the ST muscle compared to the LL muscle. The lambs of the more primitive Polish Heath breed were characterized by a smaller diameter of all fiber types, especially in the LL muscle. The higher proportion of STO fibers and the lower proportion of FTO fibers have been found in the LL muscle of Polish Heath lambs in the group with lower body weight. The breed of lambs, muscle type and slaughter body weight had an impact on some meat quality characteristics, especially color, intramuscular fat content and expressed juice.

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Rant, Witold / Radzik-Rant, Aurelia: The effect of breed and body weight at slaughter on histochemical muscle fiber characteristics and meat quality of longissimus lumborum and semitendinosus lamb muscles. 2023. Copernicus Publications.

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