Influence of transport duration and season on sensory meat quality in rabbits.
Little is known about the effect that journey duration and position on the vehicle have on the sensory aspects of meat quality in rabbits. In this study, 156 rabbits were transported by road in a commercial truck for 1 h or 7 h in one of three replicates in summer or winter. After slaughter, slices from the left side of the longissimus dorsi muscle were vacuum-packaged and chilled at 18 ºC until the sensory analysis to assess odour, tenderness, juiciness, fi brousity, greasiness, and fl avour intensity. Overall, the journey duration had a signifi cant effect (P<0.05) on tenderness, fi brousity and overall liking of the meat, being better the results of the meat samples from the short transport treatment. Season had a signifi cant effect (P<0.05) on the intensity of off-odours, being obtained the highest scores in summer transports. There was a signifi cant interaction effect (P<0.05) of journey time and season on tenderness and meat odour. Therefore, meat from short journeys in summer was the most tender, and meat from long journeys in winter was the toughest. The position on the truck (in multi-layered cages) do not infl uence sensory meat quality. Therefore, rabbit sensory meat quality can be affected by transport time.
rabbit; transport; sensory meat quality; welfare
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