Physicochemical characteristics of meat from Dabene suckling lambs at weaning in 60 days of age

Atanas Vuchkov1, Desislava Vlahova-Vangelova2 and Desislav Balev2
1 Agricultural University, Faculty of Agronomy, Department Animal Sciences, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 University of Food Technologies, Faculty of technology, Department of meat and fish technology, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Vuchkov, A., Vlahova-Vangelova, D. & Balev, D. (2022). Physicochemical characteristics of meat from Dabene suckling lambs at weaning in 60 days of age. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 28 (Supplement 1), 182–188

The Dabene sheep breed is a Bulgarian local breed, adapted to mountain and semi-mountain  conditions. Typically a combined breed. Traditionally, the lambs are sold for meat immediately after weaning, after which the sheep has milked for about 100-120 days. In the available specialized literature, the researches of Bulgarian authors on the meat-producing qualities of lambs until weaning are rare. The researchers mainly conducted experiments with fattened animals up to 100 -150 days of age and live weight 30 – 35 kg. The object of this study are 6 male single-born Dabene lambs, slaughtered immediately at weaning at 60 days of age, without a period of intensive fattening. The preslaughtered live weight in Dabene lambs in 60 days of age was 20.34 kg. The dressing percentage was 51.16%. The chemical composition determined of samples from m. Longissimus thoracis was as follows: dry matter – 27.7%, protein – 23.6%, fat – 3.29%. The fatty acids with the highest concentration in samples of m. Longissimus thoracis were respectively: monounsaturated oleic acid (18: 1) – 40.64%, and the saturated palmitic acid (16: 0) – 25.59%, and stearic acid (18: 0) – 15.04%. The pH values measured at m. Longissimus thoracis were relatively stable stored under refrigerated conditions. At 24 hours after slaughter, the pH was 5.5, and after storage for 7 days it was 5.8. Instrumentally captured color characteristics of m. Longissimus thoracis were as follows: the degree of lightness (L*), 24 hours after slaughter was 45.9. The relative deviation to the red color (a*) was 17.58. The relative deviation to the yellow color (b*) was 6.63. The saturation index of meat color (C), measured 24 hours after slaughter, was 17.71.

Keywords: physicochemical meat characteristics; Dabene sheep; autochthonous sheep breeds

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