Effect of slaughter age and finishing diet on sensory evaluation and consumers’ preference of foal meat

Marta Ruiz, Kizkitza Insausti, Maria J. Beriain, Santiago Crecente, José M. Lorenzo, María V. Sarriés


Aim of study: This study focused on the sensory evaluation and consumer preferences of foal meat depending on the animal slaughter age (13 and 26 months) and finishing diet (standard and linseed concentrate).

Area of study: It was developed in two localities in the north of Spain: Orense and Pamplona.

Material and methods: The sensory study was conducted by a 10-member trained and a 474-consumer panel.

Main results: The trained panel described meat from both, 13 and 26-months old foals similar between each other. On the contrary, consumers considered meat from the younger group to be juicier and tenderer, being juiciness and tenderness (p<0.05), the most important clues for their global acceptance. No differences were found in either the trained or the consumer panel due to the finishing diet. The consumers test was carried out in two Spanish cities (Pamplona and Orense. Two scenarios were considered: without and with supplementary information about the foal meat production. The additional information disclosed about foal meat had a positive effect on Pamplona consumers’ assessments.

Research highlights: City and information level are essential factors to introduce foal meat in the market. The lack of knowledge about foal meat and its low presence in meat markets make it necessary to develop further sensory studies; to obtain foal meat description patterns, and to get to know consumers’ likings.


horse meat; linseed, trained panel; consumers; information level

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2019174-14774