A research project to assess the effects of different post-slaughter treatments on the quality of mutton has been launched by EBLEX.
Working together with the University of Bristol, the organisation for beef and sheep levy payers hopes to be able to identify clear practices that will allow producers and processors to offer a more consistent eating experience for mutton.
It has been prompted by ongoing work with the Mutton Renaissance project and the growing demand in the Halal sector, which is a significant consumer of mutton.
“In theory, successful techniques used with old season lambs should work the same with mutton but we need to verify the benefits before issuing any advice,” said Kim Matthews, head of research and development for EBLEX.
“Mutton is a niche market but this work will help us refine information on what gives the best eating experience for all of those consumers who enjoy it and those in the supply chain in England.”
The specific techniques being tested include hip suspension, electrical stimulation and maturation periods.
The £25,000 project is expected to finish in spring 2012.