Veterinary World (Nov 2022)

Application of multivariate discriminant analysis for differentiation between Saudi sheep (Ovis aries) breeds based on physical and histochemical meat characteristics

  • Gamaleldin M. Suliman,
  • Raed Mahmoud Al-Atiyat,
  • Khaled H. Abu-Alruz,
  • Amer M. Mamkagh,
  • Firas A. Al-Zyoud,
  • Abdullah N. Al-Owaimer,
  • Faisal A. Alshamiry

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 15, no. 11
pp. 2665 – 2672


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Background and Aim: The multivariate discriminant (MVD) analysis was a successful statistical tool with a discriminatory capacity for tracing sheep breeds based on meat characteristics. Thus, this study aimed to identify three Saudi sheep breeds based on the physical and histochemical aspects of meat using MVD analysis. Materials and Methods: Eight male lambs from each breed, Najdi, Neami, and Harri, were selected randomly at 90 days of age and allocated into three groups for breeding in a completely randomized design. The feeding and rearing management were similar for an experimental period of 90 days. The experimental diet consisted of a concentrated mixture with identical amounts of calories and nitrogen. Fifty-one meat characteristics were measured in the preliminary MVD, representing hot and cold carcass weight, meat cuts and quality measures, body component weights, fat deposit weights, and histochemical characteristics. Results: Out of the total meat characteristics measured, only 19 characteristics had significant discriminant power. The most powerful characteristics were temperature, empty intestinal weight, pH24, external carcass length, heart weight, and L1, based on partial R-square and Wilks' lambda values. The phenotypic associations between the characteristics had strong associations. The obtained principal components efficiently classified the eight individuals of each breed into distinct groups using robust discriminant characteristics. Conclusion: This method allowed us to determine the breed of sheep carcasses and cuts by considering the physical characteristics of the meat. Therefore, butchers and consumers should use scientific techniques for assigning carcasses and meat to their sheep breed after slaughtering.