Articles | Volume 56, issue 1
10 Oct 2013
 | 10 Oct 2013

Instrumental colour measurement as a tool for light veal carcasses online evaluation

A. Horcada, M. Juárez, A. Molina, M. Valera, and M. J. Beriain

Abstract. Eight-hundred and forty-five veal carcasses (535 males and 310 females) from Pirenaica breed and its crosses with Charolais and Limousin were used to compare carcass colour visual assessments 60 min post-mortem with the values obtained using a spectrocolorimeter (CIE Lab colour system) on the pectoralis superficialis muscle. Carcass weights ranged between 240 and 360 kg. Visual colour was subjectively evaluated by two trained assessors. The best correlation between visual appraisal and L* was observed in carcasses of 300–320 kg. A relatively strong correlation between visual appraisal and a* values was observed in carcasses of 280–300 kg of weight. However, the correlation between b* and visual appraisal was low. Using discriminant functions that included L* and a*, the spectrocolorimeter classified correctly 60 % of carcasses in the class colour assigned by the assessors. In fact, 99% of male and 96% of female carcasses were correctly assigned in the most common colour of veal carcasses in the Spanish market ('pink', 5). These results indicate that on-line instrumental colour measurements on pectoralis superficialis muscle could be recommended to objectively evaluate carcass colour of commercial veal for the Spanish market.