1st Page



This article in

  1. Vol. 86 No. 5, p. 1205-1214
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Oct 04, 2007
    Accepted: Jan 24, 2008
    Published: December 5, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):


Physicochemical properties of meat of Italian Heavy Draft horses slaughtered at the age of eleven months1

  1. A. Tateo,
  2. P. De Palo2,
  3. E. Ceci and
  4. P. Centoducati
  1. Department of Public Health and Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine S.P. per Casamassima, km 3. 70010, Valenzano (BA), Italy


To investigate rheological and chemical characteristics of the meat from Italian Heavy Draft horse, 24 foals (12 males and 12 females) were weaned at 6 mo, reared and fed in the same way, and slaughtered at 11 mo of age. The results obtained showed that there were no significant differences between the sexes but that the muscle type is a significant variation source. The rectus femoris muscle was lighter, and the biceps femoris had a lower a* index than longissimus dorsii, rectus femoris, and semimembranosus muscle. The most tender muscle was the semitendinosus, and the toughest even after cooking was the biceps femoris. The male animals had a greater protein and lipid percentage. The acidic composition of the intramuscular fat showed a greater presence of MUFA (P < 0.05) in the females and of PUFA (P < 0.01) in the males. Colorimetry analysis of the subcutaneous and perirenal fat from these animals indicated the unfavorable yellow color seen in adult animals had not yet been acquired. The meat produced had low redness due to the low myoglobin content and high lightness. Besides, the low collagen content and its high solubility indicates an appreciable tenderness. The high level of unsaturation of the intramuscular fat resulted in a high ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat, making horse meat favorable from a health point of view.

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