The longissimus from caribou (n = 6), reindeer (n = 6) and beef (n = 6) were evaluated to determine differences in composition, color and sensory properties. Caribou contained the least fat followed by reindeer, and then beef (P <0.05). Both venison sources contained more heme pigment and had a higher glycolytic potential than beef (P <0.05). A trained sensory panel found both sources of venison to be more tender than beef (P <0.05); however Warner-Bratzler shear force yielded no significant differences. The sensory panel scored both reindeer and caribou as having a more intense off-flavor (livery) and less intense meat-flavor than beef (P <0.05). Venison was darker than beef as determined by Minolta L* values (P <0.05). No differences (P > 0.05) were found in ultimate pH or juiciness (sensory panel) among any of the products. Results from this study indicate that reindeer and caribou are a low-fat source of protein with desirable sensory characteristics.
- meat quality
- red deer