Effects of solution enhancement on palatability and shelf-life characteristics of lamb retail cuts

Jason T. Sawyer, J. Chance Brooks, Jason K. Apple, Gerald Q. Fitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The low demand for lamb in the U.S.A. requires the sheep industry to focus on the development of a means to simultaneously protect fresh lamb consumption from deteriorating and entice new consumer purchases based on palatability characteristics. Thus, the shelf-life and palatability attributes of lamb enhanced with salt, phosphate and rosemary were compared with traditional, fresh, nonenhanced lamb cuts. Wholesale loins and legs (n = 30/subprimal) were either injected to 112.5% of raw weight with the enhancement treatment (ENH) or not (Ctrl), and both ENH and Ctrl cuts were vacuum-packaged and stored 24 h before fabrication into 2.54-cm-thick chops/steaks. While color scores decreased (P < 0.05) for both loin chops and leg steaks over the 7-day display period, sensory panelists preferred (P < 0.05) ENH lamb over Ctrl chops and steaks. Results indicate that enhancement can improve the palatability attributes of lamb without detrimental effects on product shelf life. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Information presented in the current experiment can be used as a tool to define the sensory taste and color quality characteristics of solution-enhanced lamb retail cuts. More specifically, this information could be used to support future studies in the areas of color stability/packaging applications and a means to identify a threshold for solution enhancement of lamb muscles. With an industry that relies on the identification of new cuts for the retail market, and consumers placing tremendous emphasis on muscle color at the time of purchase, a thorough understanding of color stability for solution-enhanced lamb is necessary. Lastly, this information can be used to further enhance the potential marketability of such muscles from the lamb carcass that tend to receive severe discounts as a result of a lack in consumer preference for lamb products in the retail setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-366
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Muscle Foods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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