Sensory characteristics of meat from rabbits fed concentrate diets containing Brassica oleracea outer leaves and Musa paradisiaca leaves
Two separate experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of incorporating levels of Brassica oleracea outer leaves and Musa paradisiaca leaves on sensory characteristics of rabbit meat. In each experiment, forty-eight (48) eight-week-old rabbits were randomly allotted to four treatments of concentrate diets with 0, 10, 20 and 30% inclusion levels of Brassica oleracea outer leaves and Musa paradisiaca leaves. Six rabbits were randomly selected from each treatment group and used for sensory evaluation at the end of a 12-week feeding period. Muscle samples were collected from the longissimus dorsi of the carcasses, pan-fried using 300 ml of Frytol® vegetable oil at 170ºC for 10 minutes. Thirty evaluators conducted the sensory evaluation according to the consumer acceptance and preference testing technique on a nine-point hedonic scale comprising appearance, flavour, colour, mouth-feel, taste, texture and overall acceptability. Generally, the sensory characteristic scores for the meat samples support the evaluators’ acceptability of the meat from rabbits fed the various diets. However, in specific terms, meat from rabbits fed diets containing 10 and 30% Brassica oleracea outer leaves and 20% Musa paradisiaca leaves tended to have higher sensory scores over meat from rabbits fed diets of the other inclusion levels of the leaves in the sensory attributes measured. The results of the study also suggest that feeding concentrate diets containing Brassica oleracea outer leaves and Musa paradisiaca leaves at 30% inclusion level resulted in the production of rabbit meat at a lower cost than feeding concentrate diets alone and acceptable to consumers.
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