Article Text

Characteristics of the carcases and meat of slaughtered calves as indicators of 'immaturity'
  1. ME Biss,
  2. SC Hathaway,
  3. RW Purchas and
  4. BH Wilkinson

Abstract

Arbitrary age limits and offal weights are often used to classify meat and offals from 'bobby' calves as 'immature' and hence unfit for human consumption. Such age limits were not scientifically validated in a comparative study of the ante mortem characteristics, and the physical characteristics of the carcases and offals of groups of Jersey calves aged one, five, 14 and 21 days. The quality characteristics of muscle (pH and water-holding capacity) did not change with increasing age, and the changes in chemical composition (water, protein, fat and ash) were minimal, particularly between the five-day-old and 21-day-old groups. Small changes in muscle colour measured objectively were not detectable visually.

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