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Differential scanning calorimetry as a fast method to discriminate cage or free-range rabbit meat

Secci, Giulia, Ferraro, Giovanni, Fratini, Emiliano, Bovera, Fulvia, Parisi, Giuliana
Food control 2019 v.104 pp. 313-317
air, cages, color, differential scanning calorimetry, farming systems, fatty acid composition, longissimus muscle, males, meat quality, myosin, rabbit meat, rabbits, rearing, texture, California
In this work, we proposed the use of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as a rapid tool for the discrimination of meat samples coming from free-ranged and caged rabbits. Fatty acid composition, colour, and texture were also provided to fully characterize meat quality of the different samples. A total of 36, thirty-seven days old California × New Zealand White male rabbits were divided into 2 groups, housed in open air cages and in ground free-range, respectively. After 62 days of farming, 12 rabbits per group were slaughtered and the skinned carcasses were chilled for 24 h at 4 °C prior to be dissected. The Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle was analysed. The overall fatty acid profile was not affected by the farming system, while free-range rabbits show a significant lower L* value (49.59) than the open-air ones (53.54). Nor a* and b* were altered. Texture measurements revealed that there was no effect of housing system on shear force. More interestingly, the deconvolution of DSC signals in the range 30–90 °C revealed that free-range rearing lead to an increase of myosin amount in meat, being its peak percentage equal to 8.5 ± 1.9 against 4.3 ± 2.2 in meat from caged rabbits.