JOURNAL OF APPLIED ANIMAL RESEARCH
Volumen: 44, Numero: 1, Páginas: 65-70 pp.
The South American guinea pig rodent has become a livestock animal acceptable for human consumption in different parts of the world. Its white meat has a great potential as a new protein source, and its social and economic importance for different human populations is considered key for development. Scarce data are found in the literature when the statistical livestock information is checked, and few researches have been done about morphological characteristics of guinea pigs carcasses. These works do not follow the same procedures, using different criteria, overall the jointing, making it difficult to compare different studies. The aim of the present study is to suggest a practical and normalized method to analyse the guinea pig carcass characteristics allowing their evaluation. It describes the main traits to be considered from the birth of the animal to the carcass analysis. This work concerns: (1) growth, feeding, pre-slaughter and slaughter processing, (2) method for the definition, hanging and presentation of the carcass, (3) carcass morphological characteristics, (4) jointing procedure based on four anatomically defined regions, (5) methods for evaluating meat pH and colour and (6) method for tissue separation. This proposal could be useful to compare data of these animals under different conditions.