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Research

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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11SF310 UCD (Teagasc, AFBI) €952,454

Project Title:

Gender, age and diet effects on lamb meat flavour and sensory quality

Project Coordinator:

Prof Frank Monahan

Project Abstract

There is concern in the Irish lamb meat industry about the marketability of lamb from uncastrated (ram) lambs, arising from a perception among suppliers, buyers and consumers that the sensory quality of such lamb is inferior to castrate lambs. The project sets out to establish if there is any scientific evidence to support this perception. Thus, the project will investigate the influence of different Irish lamb production systems on the sensory quality and acceptability of lamb meat, focussing specifically on the effect of castration of male lambs, their age at slaughter and diet, and interactions between these factors, on lamb meat quality, particularly flavour quality. To meet the project objectives controlled lamb feeding trials will be conducted over four years in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland where lambs will be assigned to treatments designed to determine the effect of gender, age at slaughter and pre-slaughter diet (and interactions between these factors) on lamb meat quality measured sensorially and instrumentally. The new information generated will be invaluable to primary producers in devise mitigating strategies to address issues of flavour (taint) if they exist and will underpin the efforts of the lamb meat industry and Bord Bia to increase the sale of lamb at premium prices on national and international markets.

Final Report:

Not available yet.