Histological, physical, and chemical factors of various lamb muscles
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Muscles (n = 18) were dissected from each side of twenty lamb carcasses. Muscles from the right sides of the carcasses were used to determine weight, length, width, minimum and maximum thickness, objective color measurements, water-holding capacity (WHC), pH, total collagen content, sarcomere length, and fat and moisture content. Muscles from the left sides of the carcasses were aged for seven days and used to determine percent cook loss, and Warner-Bratzler shear force values. The M. teres major was lightest (P < 0.05) in weight and smallest in surface area, while the M. longissimus lumborum was heaviest (P < 0.05) in weight, and the M. serratus ventralis was largest in surface area. M. adductor and M. semimembranosus were found to be the darkest in color (P < 0.05), while the M. latissimus dorsi and M. tensor fasciae latae were the lightest (P < 0.05). M. triceps brachii had the highest WHC and the M. longissimus lumborum the lowest. The M. teres major and M. serratus ventralis had the highest (P < 0.05) pH values. The M. infraspinatus was found to have the highest collagen content (9.00 mg/g) and the M. psoas major revealed the longest sarcomere lengths (3.06 μm). M. serratus ventralis possessed the highest (P < 0.05) percent fat and the lowest moisture content. M. serratus ventralis had the lowest cook loss (17.1%) and M. supraspinatus had the highest (25.6%). Of the muscles sampled, the M. serratus ventralis was found to have the lowest shear force value (21.8 newtons) and the M. semimembranosus had the highest (42.6 newtons). Based on the findings of these data, it is likely to conclude that certain muscles may be suitable for individual muscle applications while others may not be suitable or may pose certain palatability problems.
Tschirhart, Tara Elizabeth (2003). Histological, physical, and chemical factors of various lamb muscles. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from