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Journal of Food Technology
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 106 - 110

Horse Meat for Human Consumption in México: Slaughter Performance and Carcass Morphometry

Gonzalez H.G., D. Mota-Rojas, M. Becerril-Herrera, C.Casas-Garcia, M. Zermeno, R. Ramírez-Necoechea, J.A.Toca-Ramirez, C. Lemus, J. Toca-Ramirez and M. Alonso-Spilsbury    

Abstract: In Mexico, equine use for meat production is not commonly found; the highest percentage of equine meat that can be possibly consumed comes mostly from culled animals. The objective of the present study was to characterize the slaughter performance and test the effect of gender in the incidence of injuries during transportation, in offals and hot carcass yields in twelve creole horses. Results indicate an average live weight of 296 Kg and carcass weight of 175 Kg, equivalent to 60% yield. It is possible that the husbandry method commonly used on pasturing the animals, decreased the thoracic development and increased the corporal length and diameter of the leg. With regard to slaughtering yield, red viscera represented 4.3%, green viscera 30%, skin 6%, limbs 2.8%, head 4.4% and loss at slaughter 1.5% of the total live weight. Average body condition in the horses was poor. No significant differences were observed between genders in the presence of injuries, although there was an influence of the arrival position on the severity of injuries; animals that were facing the direction of travel (rear-facing) showed injury 2 affecting subcutaneous and muscular tissues, whereas animals facing backward did not show injuries or these were not too severe.

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