This study revealed the possibility of manufacturing prefried lamb nuggets from low-value cuts (flank) and evaluated the effect of formulation (50:50 vs. 20:80 of leg/flank cuts) and freezing (−20 ℃ for two months) on different quality parameters. Frying process produced a decrease of water content, an increase in lipid oxidation indicators, and an intense browning of nuggets surface. The use of flank up to a 75% of the total meat in the formula led to higher fat contents and higher polyunsaturated fatty acid proportions in fried nuggets. This made them more prone to get oxidized during the freezing storage and subsequent final frying. Nuggets with a higher proportion of flank also showed lower shear force values. However, nuggets with both formulations showed similar sensory acceptance. Freezing storage of lamb meat nuggets for two months increased the levels of lipid oxidation indicators, but again not to a level high enough to influence the sensory perception by consumers. So that, frozen nuggets from both formulations showed similar consumer acceptance to freshly produced ones with quite good scores (3.46–3.86 out of 5). Thus, low-value lamb cuts are suitable for being processed into highly acceptable prefried frozen lamb nuggets, which constitutes an opportunity for adding value to the whole lamb value chain.
Food Science and Technology International, 2015, Vol 21, Issue 7, p. 503-511