Med. Weter. 71 (12), 769-772, 2015

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Żelechowska E., Przybylski W.
Effect of feeding season on pH, glycolytic potential, colour and myofibrillar proteins in rabbit meat
The aim of this study was to determine the influence of feed composition, related to the rearing season, on meat quality and postmortem proteolysis. The experiment was carried out on 14 rabbits from a small traditional farm. The animals originated from the crossing of local crossbred females with males of the Belgian giant breed. The rabbits were grown in two seasons: in summer and autumn. Seven animals slaughtered in summer were fed with green forage (mainly red clover mixed with grass) and cereal grain (oat and triticale), whereas the other 7 rabbits, slaughtered in autumn, were fed carrot, beet, cooked potatoes and cereal grain. In samples of the longissimus dorsi muscle, the following traits were measured: pH values 1 h and 24 h after slaughter, the meat colour in the CIE L*a*b* system and glycolytic potential (GP). Muscular proteins were analysed by the SDS-PAGE method. It was found that the colour of the meat of animals reared in the autumn season was more intensive yellow and had a significantly higher GP. The meat of animals reared in the summer season contained significantly less α-actinin and significantly more troponin I, troponin C and myosin LC2. Feed composition can influence the course of proteolytic changes in rabbit meat, which affects the technological and sensory qualities of meat.
Key words: rabbit, meat quality, meat proteins