keywords: Antelope, Ago-Iwoye ecological zone, body morphometric, carcass, meat
This study was carried out to evaluate the body morphometric, carcass and meat characteristics of African Antelope (Antilope cervicapra). Twelve antelopes of between 2 to 21/2 years old were purchased freshly from hunters that were previously instructed at Ago-Iwoye in Ogun State, Nigeria and were transported to the Meat Science Laboratory, Department of Animal Production, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ayetoro Campus where this study was conducted. Body morphometric variables of the carcasses were taken and the carcasses were, dressed, eviscerated, fabricated and chilled at 40C for 24 h. The sensory evaluation of the meat was conducted using a 10 – man taste panel to assess the (semi-membranosus and longissimus dorsi muscles) which were boiled for 20 min at 1600C and cooled to room temperature (270C). The panelists evaluated the meat for aroma, flavour, tenderness, juiciness, texture and overall acceptability using a 9-point hedonic scale. The results showed that the body morphometric, carcass and meat variables measured were very high, dressing percentage 59.36% and rib eye area 10.62 cm2. The chilling loss of meat was very low (2.85%) while the proximate composition variables were high except the fat which was low and the meat was highly accepted by the panelists. This study was limited to the use of African Antelope carcasses and meat from Ago-Iwoye ecological zone in Ogun State, Nigeria so that bias would not be introduced into the study. The results from this study necessitated the conclusion that data obtained from body morphometric, carcass and meat of African Antelope were comparable to those obtained by previous workers on domesticated goat and therefore, recommended that African Antelope could be domesticated to complement the conventional ruminants so that adequate protein supply to the growing human population can be achieved.