GABRIELA FRUNZA, DANIEL SIMEANU, CECILIA POP, ROXANA LAZAR, PAUL CORNELIU BOISTEANU, MARCELA STEFAN CONTRIBUTIONS ON THE SENSORIAL, PHYSICO-CHEMICAL AND NUTRITIONAL CHARACTERIZATION OF HARE MEAT (LEPUS EUROPAEUS PALLAS) The growing demand for food worldwide, along with the increasing need for animal protein, lead to the identification of other sources of highest quality meat, then the conventional ones, such as it is the hare meat. The aim of this study was to characterize the sensorial, physico-chemical and nutritional traits of hare meat (Lepus europaeus Pallas) issued from hunting funds in North-East of Romania. The biological material consisted of 79 hares (34 males and 45 females), slaughtered by shooting at the age of about 18 months, during the regular hunting season (1 November to 31 January). Different muscle groups were collected: Longissimus dorsi (LD), Triceps brachi (TB) and Semimembranosus (SM). For physicochemical determinations (measurement of the pH at 24 and 48 hours, of water, proteins, lipids, fatty acids and of ash) were analyzed 237 samples (79 for each muscle group). The results obtained from the sensory analysis are relatively close as a score for the three muscle groups studied. The pH value was higher for TB muscles. The highest amount of protein was observed for LD muscles collected from males (21.65%), while the richest in lipids were the females TB muscles (2.38%). The fatty acids levels were predominantly higher for males (for the most of the assessed fatty acids). Very favorable ratio of PUFA:SFA was identified in LD muscles (1.695 for males and 1.531 for females), in SM muscles (1.679 for males and 1.527 for females), and in TB muscles, as well (1.885 for males and 1.820 for females). The variance analysis revealed insignificant gender related differences for the three muscle groups, concerning the sensorial traits, the pH level, ash content and energy value. However, in proteins, lipids and water levels, there were observed highly significant gender related differences in TB muscles. Also, for some fatty acids, significant statistical differences were found between genders, in all three muscle groups.
Keywords: hare meat, fatty acids, proteins, lipids