Phenotypic characterisation of colour stability of lamb meat
A study was undertaken, using 2701 overwrapped loin samples aged for 5 days and subjected to a simulated retail display (SRD) for 3 days; sourced from lambs in the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation information nucleus flock, born 2007-2009. The ratio of reflectance of light in the wavelengths of 630 nm and 580 nm (oxy/met) was measured daily during the SRD, using a Hunterlab spectrophotometer. A series of linear mixed models was fitted to the oxy/met and time data to compare 4 breed types and identify relevant covariates, of 19, using a forward selection process. Breed type, pH at 24 h post slaughter and Linoleic acid concentration (LA) were the most important factors and covariates, in that order. Merino breed type, high pH and high LA reduced colour stability. Fitting a spline model to predict the time for oxy/met to reach a set value, represents an alternative to comparing oxy/met at a set time, for describing colour stability.