Carcass and meat characterization of "yacare overo" (Caiman latirostris) and "yacare negro" (Caiman yacare)
AbstractTen caimans (Caiman latirostris and Caiman yacare) of different length and live weight were slaughtered to assess carcass yield and meat quality traits. Carcass yield was 54% while meat portion was the 62%. The carcass meat/bone ratio was approximately 1,51 while the 6,4% corresponded to the fat depots, mostly visceral depots. The tail cut represented the 27,4% of the carcass weight and it was composed 21,9% by meat and the 5,5% of bone. The meat tail pH postsmortem value (6,88 ±0,22) fell up to 6,49 (±0,23), 24 hs after slaughtering and 5,85 (±0,12) after thawing. Cooking losses were low (<0,3%) and the Warner Bratzler shear force had values lower than 3kg. The raw tail color analyses characterized the meat as luminous (L*= 67,7) and pale (C*= 5,5). While the fat content changed significantly depending on the live weight (2,5-29,8%DM), the protein content was relatively constant and around the 65% of dry matter. From the total intramuscular fatty acid content of tail meat, the 41,4 % were satured, the 39,1% were monounsatured and the 10,7% were polyunsatured, with a n-6/n-3 ratio near the optimum (3,16 vs 4). The oleic acid was the most important FA followed by the palmitic, stearic and linoleic acids. Among the unsatured FA, the levels of essential FA as araquidonic (4,34) and n-3 derived family were important (EPA= 0,76 and DHA= 0,57). Another positive nutritional characteristic was the high level of CLA (1,87%FAtot).
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