Physical, chemical, and histological characteristics of 18 lamb muscles. Academic Article uri icon


  • Muscles (n=18) were dissected from each side of 20 lamb carcasses to characterize physical, chemical, and histological traits. Muscles from the right sides were used to measure color values, expressible moisture, pH, total collagen content, and sarcomere length. Muscles from the left sides were aged for 7d and used to determine Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force values. The M. adductor and M. semimembranosus had the darkest colored lean (lowest L() values), whereas the M. latissimus dorsi and M. tensor fasciae latae had the lightest colored lean (highest L() values). The M. triceps brachii, M. pectoralis profundus, and M. latissimus dorsi had among the lowest numerical expressible moistures whereas the M. adductor and the M. longissimus lumborum had among the highest. The M. infraspinatus was found to have the highest collagen content (9.0mg/g) and the M. psoas major had the longest sarcomere length (3.1m). Of the muscles sampled, the M. serratus ventralis had one the lowest WBS values (21.8N) and the M. semimembranosus the highest (42.6N). On average, the largest muscles identified were the M. gluteobiceps, M. gluteus medius, M. longissimus lumborum, M. longissimus thoracis, and M. semimembranosus, which would likely be suitable in terms of physical dimensions for used in a variety of individual muscle applications. Other muscles, however, such as the M. teres major and M. tensor fasciae latae, may be too small in size and dimension to be used for individual application.

published proceedings

  • Meat Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Tschirhart-Hoelscher, T. E., Baird, B. E., King, D. A., McKenna, D. R., & Savell, J. W.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Tschirhart-Hoelscher, TE||Baird, BE||King, DA||McKenna, DR||Savell, JW

publication date

  • May 2006