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Meat Sci. 2009 Aug;82(4):450-5. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2009.02.015. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Nutrient composition and technological quality of meat from alpacas reared in Peru.

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Departamento de Tecnología de Alimentos y Productos Agropecuarios, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina - UNALM, Av. La Molina s/n, Lima 12, Peru.


The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge on alpaca meat quality characteristics. Twenty Huacaya breed alpacas, reared under a traditional unspecialized production system at the Andean region of Peru, were slaughtered at ages between 18 and 24months. Analyses were carried out on Longissimus thoracis and lumborum muscle (LTLM), unless otherwise specified. These included composition parameters: moisture, fat, protein, ash, minerals, amino acids, fatty acid profile (of both LTLM and perirenal fat), retinol and tocopherol concentrations and myoglobin and collagen contents. Other meat quality parameters were evaluated: pH, colour, water holding capacity and Warner-Bratzler shear-force. Alpaca LTLM was characterized by a low intramuscular fat content and mineral and amino acid compositions, polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids ratio and conjugated linoleic acid content comparable to those found for beef and sheep meat. However, specifically, alpaca meat showed a relatively high n-6 to n-3 (3.7) ratio and low vitamin E concentration. Values of alpaca meat technological quality parameters were in the ranges reported for more conventional red meats, the exception being a lower b(∗) value.

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