Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 545–553 | Cite as

Determination of optimum carcass weight for meat quality and fatty acid composition in fat-tailed male and female Chall lambs

  • Ali Reza YousefiEmail author
  • Abolhassan Sadeghipanah
  • Hamid Kohram
  • Ahmad Zare Shahneh
  • Navid Dadashpour Davachi
  • Alireza Aghashahi
  • Eric N. Ponnampalam
Regular Articles


The aim of this study was to determine the optimum carcass weight for meat quality and fatty acid composition in fat-tailed Chall lambs. Thirty lambs (15 male and 15 female) were allotted to three carcass weight groups: (1) light carcass weight (LCW 10–15 kg), (2) moderate carcass weight (MCW 15–20 kg), and (3) heavy carcass weight (HCW 20–25 kg). Back fat thickness and intramuscular fat (IMF) content were greater (P < 0.05) for HCW and female groups than their counterparts, respectively. Drip loss was lower (P < 0.05) for female and HCW lamb groups than male and LCW group, respectively. Female and LCW lambs had lower (P < 0.05) shear force compared with their corresponding male and HCW groups. Meat from LCW and MCW lambs had higher lightness (L* value; 43.6, 43.5 vs. 39.9), while redness (a* value; 13.6, 13.9 vs. 15.4) was greater for HCW and female (13.7 vs. 14.9) lambs compared with their counterparts (P < 0.05). The MCW lambs produced meat with higher overall acceptability compared with other two groups (P < 0.05). The HCW lambs contained lower polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids (P:S) ratio, and n-3 PUFA compared with LCW group (P < 0.05). Results show that as the animal grow faster and achieved HCW, the IMF content also increased mainly as storage triglyceride, while functional fats consisting long-chain omega-3 did not increase proportionately. In addition, the study also demonstrates that using IMF for predicting or assessing meat quality aspects such as juiciness and flavor or the nutritional value of meat relating to health claimable fatty acids would not be appropriate.


Fat-tailed lambs Meat attributes Fatty acids Slaughter weight Gender 


Compliance with ethical standards

The experiment was conducted under the approval given by Tehran University Ethics Committee.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aali, M., Moradi-Shahrbabak, H., Moradi-Shahrbabak, M., Sadeghi, M., and Yousefi, A.R., 2017. Association of the calpastatin genotypes, haplotypes, and SNPs with meat quality and fatty acid composition in two Iranian fat-and thin-tailed sheep breeds, Small Ruminant Research, 149, 40–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alfnes, F., Rickertsen, K., and Ueland, Ø., 2005. Experimental evidence of risk aversion in consumer markets: the case of beef tenderness. XIth International Congress of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, Copenhagen, 2005.Google Scholar
  3. Alizadeh, A., Shahneh, A.Z., Yousefi, A.R., Omran, M.H., and Campbell, A.W., 2013. Determining the effect of the fat-tail and carcass weight on meat fatty acid composition of Iranian lambs, Small Ruminant Research, 115, 34–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. AMSA, 1978. Guidelines for cookery and sensory evaluation of meat. Chicago, IL: American. Meat Science Association, National Livestock and Meat Board.Google Scholar
  5. AOAC, 1995. Official Methods of Analysis, 16th Edition. Association Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA, USA, p. 684.Google Scholar
  6. Asadollahi, S., Sari, M., Erafanimajd, N., Kiani, A., and Ponnampalam, E., 2017. Supplementation of sugar beet pulp and roasted canola seed in a concentrate diet altered carcass traits, muscle (longissimus dorsi) composition and meat sensory properties of Arabian fattening lambs, Small Ruminant Research, 153, 95–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Atti, N., and Mahouachi, M., 2011. The effects of diet, slaughter weight and docking on growth, carcass composition and meat quality of fat-tailed Barbarine lambs. A review, Tropical Animal Health and Production, 43, 1371–1378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baghcheghi, Y., Shahneh, A.Z., Ganjkhanlou, M., Motlagh, M.K., and Yousefi, A.R., 2015. Effect of hypothyroidism on growth performance, carcass composition and meat quality of fat-tailed Lori-Bakhtiari lambs, Animal Production Science, 55, 1324–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Becker, T., 2000. Consumer perception of fresh meat quality: a framework for analysis, British Food Journal, 102, 158–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE)., 1986. Colorimetry. 2nd Edition, Publication CIE No. 15.2. Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage, Vienna.Google Scholar
  11. Corpet, D.E., 2011. Red meat and colon cancer: should we become vegetarians, or can we make meat safer?, Meat Science, 89, 310–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Craigie, C., Lambe, N., Richardson, R., Haresign, W., Maltin, C., Rehfeldt, C., Roehe, R., Morris, S., and Bunger, L., 2012. The effect of sex on some carcass and meat quality traits in Texel ewe and ram lambs, Animal Production Science, 52, 601–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Diaz, M.T., Velasco, S., Perez, C., Lauzurica, S., Huidobro, F., and Caque, V., 2003. Physico-chemical characteristics of carcass and meat Manchego-breed suckling lambs slaughtered at different weights, Meat Science, 65, 1085–1093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Folch, J., Lees, M., and Sloane-Stanley, G., 1957. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 226, 497–509.Google Scholar
  15. Hoffman, L.C., Muller, M., Cloete, S.W.P., and Schmidt, D., 2003. Comparison of six crossbred lamb types: sensory, physical and nutritional meat quality characteristics, Meat Science, 65, 1265–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Honikel, K.O., 1998. Reference methods for the assessment of physical characteristics of meat, Meat Science, 49, 447–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Janssen, G.B., and Meijer, G.W., 1995. Enzymatic determination of lipids in liver extracts, Clinical Biochemistry, 28, 312–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jeremiah, L.E., Dugan, M.E.R., Aalhus, J.L., and Gibson, L.L., 2003. Assessment of the chemical and cooking properties of the major beef muscles and muscle groups, Meat Science, 65, 985–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, P.L., Purchas, R.W., McEwan, J.C., and Blair, H.T., 2005. Carcass composition and meat quality differences between pasture-reared ewe and ram lambs, Meat Science, 71, 383–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kashan, N.E.J., Azar, G.H.M., Afzalzadeh, A., and Salehi, A., 2005. Growth performance and carcass quality of fattening lambs from fat-tailed and tailed sheep breeds, Small Ruminant Research, 60, 267–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Khaldari, M., Kashan, N., Afzalzadeh, A., and Salehi, A., 2007. Growth and carcass characteristics of crossbred progeny from lean-tailed and fat-tailed sheep breeds, South African Journal of Animal Science, 37, 51–56.Google Scholar
  22. Martínez-Cerezo, S., Saudo, C., Panea, B., Medel, I., Delfa, R., Sierra, I., Beltrln, J.A., Cepero, R., and Olleta, J.L., 2005. Breed, slaughter weight and ageing time effects on physico-chemical characteristics of lamb meat, Meat Science, 69, 325–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Metcalfe, L.D., Schmitz, A.A., and Pelka, J.R., 1966. Rapid Preparation of Fatty Acid Esters from Lipids for Gas Chromatographic Analysis, Analytical Chemistry, 38, 514–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Muela, E., Sañudo, C., Campo, M., Medel, I., and Beltrán, J., 2010. Effects of cooling temperature and hot carcass weight on the quality of lamb, Meat Science, 84, 101–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ntambi, J.M., and Miyazaki, M., 2004. Regulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturases and role in metabolism, Progress in Lipid Research, 43, 91–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Oriani, G., Maiorano, G., Filetti, F., Di Cesare, C., Manchisi, A., and Salvatori, G., 2005. Effect of age on fatty acid composition of Italian Merino suckling lambs, Meat Science, 71, 557–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ponnampalam, E., Hopkins, D., Butler, K., Dunshea, F., and Warner, R., 2007. Genotype and age effects on sheep meat production 2. Carcass quality traits, Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 47, 1147–1154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ponnampalam, E., Butler, K., Hopkins, D., Kerr, M., Dunshea, F., and Warner, R., 2008. Genotype and age effects on sheep meat production. 5. Lean meat and fat content in the carcasses of Australian sheep genotypes at 20-, 30-and 40-kg carcass weights, Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 48, 893–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ponnampalam, E.N., Burnett, V.F., Norng, S., Hopkins, D.L., Plozza, T., Jacobs, J.L. 2016. Muscle antioxidant (vitamin E) and major fatty acid groups, lipid oxidation and retail colour of meat from lambs fed a roughage based diet with flaxseed or algae. Meat Science, 111, 154–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ponnampalam, E.N., Hopkins, D.L., and Jacobs, J.L., 2018. Increasing omega-3 levels in meat from ruminants under pasture-based systems: An Invited Review, OIE Scientific and Technical Review, Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz., 37, 57–70 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pourlis, A.F., 2011. A review of morphological characteristics relating to the production and reproduction of fat-tailed sheep breeds, Tropical Animal Health and Production, 43, 1267–1287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Renerre, M., 1986. Influence des facteurs biologiques et tecnologiques sur la couleur de la viande bovine, Bulletin Technique C.R.Z.V Theix.I.N.R.A, 65.Google Scholar
  33. Russo, G.L., 2009. Dietary n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: from biochemistry to clinical implications in cardiovascular prevention, Biochem. Pharmacol., 77, 937–946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sanudo, C., Campo, M.M., Sierra, I., Maria, G.A., Olleta, J.L., and Santolaria, P., 1997. Breed effect on carcase and meat quality of suckling lambs, Meat Science, 46, 357–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sanudo, C., Nute, G., Campo, M., Maria, G., Baker, A., Sierra, I., Enser, M., and Wood, J., 1998a. Assessment of commercial lamb meat quality by British and Spanish taste panels, Meat Science, 48, 91–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sanudo, C., Sanchez, A., and Alfonso, M., 1998b. Small ruminant production systems and factors affecting lamb meat quality, Meat Science, 49, S29-S64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sanudo, C., Sierra, I., Olleta, J.L., Martin, L., Campo, M.M., Santolaria, P., Wood, J.D., and Nute, G.R., 1998c. Influence of weaning on carcass quality fatty acid composition and meat quality in intensive lamb production systems, Animal Science, 66, 175–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. SAS, 2004. SAS User’s Guide Statistics, Cary, NC: SAS Inst., Inc.Google Scholar
  39. Shackelford, S., Wheeler, T., Meade, M., Reagan, J., Byrnes, B., and Koohmaraie, M., 2001. Consumer impressions of Tender Select beef, Journal of Animal Science, 79, 2605–2614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Teixeira, A., Batista, S., Delfa, R., and Cadavez, V., 2005. Lamb meat quality of two breeds with protected origin designation. Influence of breed, sex and live weight, Meat Science, 71, 530–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tejeda, J.F., Pea, R.E., and Andrés, A.I., 2008. Effect of live weight and sex on physico-chemical and sensorial characteristics of Merino lamb meat, Meat Science, 80, 1061–1067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vasta, V., Pagano, R.I., Luciano, G., Scerra, M., Caparra, P., Foti, F., Cilione, C., Biondi, L., Priolo, A., and Avondo, M., 2012. Effect of morning vs. afternoon grazing on intramuscular fatty acid composition in lamb, Meat Science, 90, 93–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vergara, H., Molina, A., and Gallego, L., 1999. Influence of sex and slaughter weight on carcass and meat quality in light and medium weight lambs produced in intensive systems, Meat Science, 52, 221–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Webb, E.C., and O’Neill, H.A., 2008. The animal fat paradox and meat quality, Meat Sci., 80, 28–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yousefi, A.R., Kohram, H., Shahneh, A.Z., Nik-Khah, A., and Campbell, A.W., 2012. Comparison of the meat quality and fatty acid composition of traditional fat-tailed (Chall) and modern tailed (Zel) Iranian sheep breeds, Meat Science, 92, 417–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Reza Yousefi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abolhassan Sadeghipanah
    • 2
  • Hamid Kohram
    • 3
  • Ahmad Zare Shahneh
    • 3
  • Navid Dadashpour Davachi
    • 1
  • Alireza Aghashahi
    • 2
  • Eric N. Ponnampalam
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Research, Breeding and Production of Laboratory Animals, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research InstituteAgricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)KarajIran
  2. 2.Animal Science Research InstituteAgricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)KarajIran
  3. 3.Department of Animal Science, Faculty College of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  4. 4.Animal Production Science, Agriculture Victoria ResearchDepartment of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and ResourcesAttwoodAustralia

Personalised recommendations