Abstract: Wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) meat is a valuable food resource in some Mediterranean countries. However, it has been scarcely studied. Aimed at characterising some properties of this meat, the Percentage of Released Water (PRW) of the Longissimus dorsi (LD) and pH of the LD and Biceps femoris (BF) muscles were measured in 53 wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus). The rabbits were purchased in summer 2006 in several traditional markets in the province of Seville (Spain). LD muscle pH was 5.96 and BF muscle pH was 6.03 with no differences between sexes (p>0.05). There were negative correlations between the unskinned, eviscerated weight of the rabbits and pH of the LD and BF muscles (r = -0.322; p<0.05). PRW from LD muscle was 17.98% with no differences between sexes (p>0.05). The PRW and pH of LD muscle show a negative correlation (r = -0.433; p<0.01). Both muscle pH values and LD muscle PRW were higher in wild rabbits than the values described for meat breeds in the literature. This is due to the higher depletion of energy reserves and lower lactic acid production in the muscle as a consequence of the stress and flight during hunting.
P. Gonzalez-Redondo, A. Horcada, M. Valera and M.J. Alcalde, 2010. Water Holding Capacity and PH of Meat from the Wild Rabbit(Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) Hunted Specimens. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 9: 1560-1564.