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Meat Sci. 2012 Jan;90(1):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.06.011. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Composition and some quality characteristics of the longissimus muscle of reindeer in Norway compared to farmed New Zealand red deer.

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Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science University of Life Sciences P. O. Box 5003, N-1432-Ås, Norway.


Norwegian reindeer of Finnmark county live under harsh conditions on extensive feed sources. Thus the meat may have special qualities. M. longissimus lumborum from 30 animals was investigated with respect to carcass and meat quality and compositional/nutritional characteristics. Meat from calves had a higher myofibrillar fragmentation index and tenderness, and had lighter, redder and more yellow colour than meat from adult reindeer. Regarding nutritional compounds the meat from calves had lower antioxidant capacity, and higher taurine levels than adults, while the levels of iron, carnosine, anserine, and vitamin E were similar. Carcass weights of the adult reindeer were lower than the weights reported for Swedish reindeer and New Zealand farmed red deer. Reindeer muscles had higher antioxidant capacity, shorter sarcomeres, smaller muscle fibre diameters, higher n-6/n-3 ratios of fatty acids in the intramuscular fat and higher muscle taurine levels relative to values for the same muscle of New Zealand farmed red deer.

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