Influencing tenderness in lambs from the callipyge phenotype with electrical stimulation and calcium chloride



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Texas Tech University


The message is extremely clear. Consumers in the United States prefer loin chops with less extemal fat and a greater muscle area (Robinson, 1989). Presently, less than 30% of the market lambs slaughtered in the United States meet the requirements (less than 6.3 mm subcutaneous fat at the 12th rib, and less than 3.5% kidney and pelvic fat) specified by the "Certified Fresh American Lamb" program established by the American Sheep Industry Association (Beerman et al., 1995). Sheep with the Callipyge gene have been in production for 10 y m the United States. These sheep have the potential to address some of the lamb industry's problems. They have superior feed efficiency and carcass composhion (Jackson et al., 1996). The common perception is that the sheep expressing the callipyge phenotype have negative sensory characteristics.

Variability m tendemess of meat from lambs of the callipyge genotype is a more quality defect. Thus, a means to assure a more consistently tender and acceptable product from lambs of the callipyge genotype is necessary. Techniques used postmortem to improve tendemess and enhance consumer acceptance, such as injection of CaCb and electrical stimulation (ES), can be implemented to produce a more consistently palatable and widely acceptable lamb product.