Factors impacting Australian Alpaca meat and methods to improve quality

The University of Sydney

  • Project code: PRJ-008527

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, September 30, 2012

  • Project completion date: Friday, July 31, 2015

  • National Priority: NAP-Enhance industry success through targeted industry-specific RD&E


Due to the increasing national Alpaca flock, there’s a growing need from Alpaca producers for information on Alpaca meat production. This study will investigate the fundamental meat quality parameters of Alpaca meat under Australian conditions, including optimal slaughter age and sex and the effect of quality enhancment techniques such as electrical stimulation and tender stretch at processing. Also, the differences in meat quality, of animals grazing different feed systems (pasture Vs pasture + supplement). The findings from these experiments will provide alpaca producers with fundamental information to assist with commercialisation of Alpaca meat beyond industry reliance on fibre as a sole product.


New and Emerging Animal Industries

Research Organisation

The University of Sydney

Objective Summary

1. To investigate the relationships between slaughter age (12, 14, 24 & 48 months) and sex of Alpacas under Australian conditions by comparing nutrient, carcase and sensory parameters associated with meat quality and furthermore investigate the benefits of value adding processing techniques such as electrical stimulation, on Alpaca carcases.

2. To compare alpaca carcases grazed under two different feeding systems (pasture only vs. pasture + supplementary feeding) to assess variation in overall carcase and meat quality parameters. In addition, tender stretching will be conducted as a carcass suspension technique on a sub-set of carcasses to establish the effect of this value-adding technique.