Hunt for perfect chop

MEATY TEST: NSW Department of Primary Industries researcher and PhD student Jordan Hoban with some of the lamb samples cooked up. Picture: Les SmithWhat does it take to make the perfect lamb chop?
Nanjing Night Net

COOKING STORM: Researchers – PhD students Stephanie Fowler (front) and Gerlane Brito – cook lamb samples for taste testing. Pictures: Les Smith

Researchers fromthe NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Charles Sturt University (CSU) are hoping to find out.

A meat quality trial run by theGraham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, in a partnership between DPIand CSUis taking lamb to the ultimate test – on the plate.

Researchers Shawn McGrathand Stephanie Fowler, from CSU and NSW DPI, have recruited 64 volunteers to take the test.

In a case of the lamb is what it eats, Mr McGrath and Ms Fowler are cooking more than 600 pieces of lamb, which have been fed different pasturediets, for volunteers to rank in tenderness, juiciness, flavour, and how much they liked it overall.

The volunteers have been broken up into four different tasting sessions, with each given nine samples.

Ms Fowler said they were looking at howsheep producers mightbe able to improve eating quality and production by fine-tuning lamb diets.

The impending PhD graduate, who works at the the DPI’sCentre for Sheep and Red Meat Innovation,said lamb could get a bad rap for being high in saturated fat.

“Sometimes people don’t find a consistent eating quality,” she said.“We expect to find a difference in flavour to come out between the different forages.

“We know with things like salt bush can give the meat a distinct flavour.

“It’ll be interesting to see if there’s an impact in tenderness.”

Mr McGrath, alecturer in Whole Farm Management at the School and Animal and Veterinary Science,has been involved in this type ofresearchfor a couple of years.

“There’s not a lot of data (on white dorper lambs). So this is an opportunity to see whether a lamb’s diet can make a difference on the plate using an untrained panel,” hesaid.

One of the panelists commented on the differences in tenderness and moisture levels between samples.

Lambs grazed on five types of pasture– bladder clover, hybrid brassica/kale, chicory and arrowleaf clover, lucerne and phalaris, and lucerne pastures at CSU Wagga.

TASTe TEST: Kirsty White.

DPI has already tested the impact of the different diets on the carcase yield, tenderness, colour, pH and moisture levels in the lab.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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