Eight Hampshire x Rambouillet cross-bred wethers expressing the callipyge phenotype and eight Hampshire x Rambouillet half-sibling wethers with a normal phenotype were slaughtered when they reached 59 kg. The supraspinatus (SPM), longissimus (LM), and semitendinosus (STM) muscles were analyzed to determine callipyge effects on calpain and calpastatin activities, sarcomere length, percentage of muscle fiber types, and muscle fiber areas. After 14 d of aging, chops were frozen until analyses for trained sensory panel evaluations, Warner-Bratzler shear force values, and consumer perceptions of tenderness, flavor, juiciness, and overall satisfaction of chops were conducted. Calpastatin activity was 57% greater (P < 0.05) and m-calpain activity was 33% greater (P < 0.05) in muscles from carcasses of callipyge than normal sheep. Sarcomeres were shorter (P < 0.001) in the LM than the SPM or STM, regardless of phenotype. Muscle fiber area was 76% larger (P < 0.05) in the LM of callipyge than normal sheep, but muscle fiber area was not affected (P > 0.05) by phenotype in the SPM or STM. Phenotype had no effect (P = 0.12) on the percentage of slow-twitch, oxidative fiber types in any of the three muscles. In STM and LM from callipyge lambs, the percentage of fast-twitch, oxidative/glycolytic fibers was lower (P < 0.05) and that of fast-twitch-glycolytic fibers was higher (P < 0.05) than in their normal counterparts. Phenotype did not affect (P = 0.90) the fiber type percentage in the SPM. Callipyge LM were less tender and normal LM were more tender than other chops (P < 0.05). Callipyge loin chops had higher Warner-Bratzler shear force values than other chops (P < 0.001). Consumers rated fewer (P < 0.05) callipyge loin and shoulder chops acceptable in juiciness, tenderness, and overall acceptability than normal chops, but phenotype did not affect (P > 0.05) consumer acceptability of leg chops. These results indicate that LM from Hampshire x Rambouillet sheep displaying the callipyge phenotype had higher calpastatin activity and were less tender than the LM from normal sheep. In addition, consumer perceptions indicated that only one in 10 leg chops, one in five shoulder chops, and one in four loin chops from callipyge sheep were unacceptable.
- Consumer Preferences