WHILE Lambassador Sam Kekovich is again out fighting C[pounds sterling]un-AustralianismC[yen] in the lead-up to January 26, the sheep industry's top researchers are quietly doing their bit to ensure lamb remains the country's national dish on Australia Day for years to come.
By understanding what consumers really want, in terms of lamb eating quality, and then using genetic tools to deliver on these taste requirements, the sheep industry will be able to guarantee continued improvement in consumer satisfaction for the foreseeable future.
Research co-ordinated by Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation in conjunction with Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and other partner organisations, has established a clear understanding of the physical and chemical attributes of lamb that underpin consumer satisfaction.
In a major breakthrough, researchers can now align this knowledge with new genetic markers so producers will be able to manage their flocks for eating quality, while also increasing the lean meat yield and productivity of their sheep.
Sheep CRC meat program leader Dave Pethick said this was great news for Australians, who favoured the popular meat.
C[pounds sterling]There is a common view in industry and among some scientific circles that lamb is potentially always tender, juicy and flavoursome given its young age,C[yen] Mr Pethick said.
C[pounds sterling]However, the Sheep CRC team via its world-leading Information Nucleus Flocks, has found that even when employing best practice meat processing techniques, there is a wide variation in lamb eating quality and it is now clear that this variation has a significant genetic component. …