Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
versão On-line ISSN 1806-9290
COSTA, Roberto Germano et al. Meat quality of Santa Inês sheep raised in confinement with diet containing cactus pear replacing corn. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.2, pp. 432-437. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000200028.
The objective of this study was to assess the tissue component yields and the physical, chemical and sensory characteristics of meat from Santa Inês sheep fed diets in which cactus pear partially or completely replaced corn. The study used 45 Santa Inês rams with initial live weight of 25±2.5 kg and final weight of 35±1.5 kg in a completely randomized design with five treatments (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100%) and nine replicates per treatment. The leg of the animal was used to analyze the tissue component yields, and the longissimus dorsi muscle was used for assessment of the sensory characteristics and the physical and chemical compositions. The inclusion of cactus pear in the diet increased the adipose tissue percentage quadratically, up to 50%, reducing the muscle/fat ratio. The lipid content of the meat decreased with the inclusion of cactus pear in the diet. The results indicate that cactus pear can replace 100% of the corn in the diets of Santa Inês sheep kept in confinement, resulting in a decreased lipid percentage and without compromising the physical and sensory characteristics of the meat.
Palavras-chave : meat tenderness; Opuntia ficus indica; proximate composition; sensory characteristics.