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The page you are currently viewing is part of the Sheep CRC archived website for the period 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2014. The information provided within this page is no longer actively updated and may now be out of date. For up to date information please visit the current Sheep CRC website at http://www.sheepcrc.org.au/


Colour

The colour of meat is an important factor in its saleability, as consumers use colour as one of the main indicators of meat freshness. Two aspects are important:

  • The colour when the meat is cut (retail meat colour).
  • The stability of this colour over time (colour stability).

 

Meat that is dark immediately upon cutting is described as ‘dark-cutting’. This is frequently due to animals having low glycogen (energy) levels prior to slaughter. The lack of glycogen contributes to the meat resulting in a higher pH after slaughter, causing darker colour as well as other detrimental effects on quality.

Animals should be maintained at high growth rates in the few weeks prior to slaughter. In particular, stress should be minimized in the day or so prior to slaughter as Practices such as transport, time off feed and handling cause the animal to use up energy.

Colour can also be affected by:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Nutrition pre-slaughter
  • Processing factors
  • The particular cut of meat

 

For more information, see ‘Quality Sheepmeat - Merinos can deliver’ (located in the Practical Wisdom Notes tab below).

Colour stability is a critical economic factor determining the shelf life of meat. After meat is cut and exposed to air, the colour gradually becomes brown, making it unattractive.

Stability is affected by the same things that affect the initial colour. However, retail display factors are also important, in particular:

  • Temperature
  • Lighting
  • Packaging

 

Choose from the tabs below to find more detailed information.


Practical Wisdom Notes Reports, Articles and Presentations

Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

Practical Wisdom Notes - Quality Sheepmeat Series

Sheep CRC Practical Wisdom Notes is a series of technical notes to assist sheep producers to make sound decisions about technology and practices and then to have the know-how to implement their decisions.


Reports, Articles and Presentations

Publications - Meat

Download the meat publications below.


Sheep CRC 2010 Conference Papers - Meat

This Conference combined world class science with its practical application.


Wool meets Meat - 2006 Conference Papers - Meat Science

Sheep CRC Practical Wisdom Notes is a series of technical notes to assist sheep producers to make sound decisions about technology and practices and then to have the know-how to implement their decisions.



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