Animal age

Research has found that lamb remains the premium product and has the best sheepmeat eating quality when comparing like-for-like (i.e. same cuts, same processing).

Some cuts of hogget and mutton also show potential for high eating quality when processed under optimal conditions. The eating quality differences between lamb, hogget and mutton are based on:

  • The toughening of connective tissues
  • Adverse flavours as a result of age
  • Darkening of meat colour with age
  • Increase in juiciness with age due to increase in intramuscular fat.

Go to the MSA Tips and Tools page for more information on the Impact of age on sheepmeat eating quality

Click Next to find out how meat pH affects sheepmeat eating quality.