The meat quality characteristics of adult emus transported for 6h before slaughter were determined. Forty-two emus were used in two trials, undertaken under warm and cool weather conditions, respectively. Male emus had significantly higher fat yields than females (12.43kg vs 9.5kg, P=0.002). About 38.1% of the emus had no wounds or bruises, 40.5% had bruises, while 21.4% had small wounds after transport. Meat from injured emus had significantly higher pH45. In warm weather, emus experienced significantly higher loss in body weight than that under cool weather. Drip loss in meat after 24h of storage was higher in emus which had greater live weight loss after transport (r=0.66, P<0.0001), confirming the adverse effects of transport stress on meat quality. Nutrient supplementation did not significantly affect processing yield or meat quality characteristics. This study points to the need for optimizing transport conditions of emus to maintain meat quality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands , and the funding was administered by the University of British Columbia Specialty Birds Research Committee. Slaughter and laboratory facilities were provided by Lacombe Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta, Canada. Dwayne Harder (TryHarder Emu Farms, Denholm, Saskatchewan) provided access to his emus and assistance throughout the study. Dr. June Kim (UBC Avian Research Centre), Laverne Holt-Klimec (Lacombe Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), and Edgar Harder (TryHarder Emu Farms) assisted in sample collection. Drs. Tony Kozak and Valerie LeMay (Department of Forest Resources Management, UBC) provided advice in data analyses. Hospitality of the Harder family was greatly appreciated.
- Carcass yield
- Drip loss
- Meat quality