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Title: Product development, lexicon creation and sensory acceptability of goat meat products for the emerging consumer
Authors: Palmer, Karina 
Issue Date: May-2023
Background: Animal food sources (AFS) play an important role in the diet; however, the
environmental impact and sustainability of AFS has become a critical stressor to the planet as
livestock production contributes significantly towards green-house gas emissions. On the other
hand, goats are both adaptable and resilient animals and are therefore an important sustainable
AFS which can contribute towards meeting the protein requirements of the growing population.
Recent global meat consumption trends report an increase in goat meat consumption. However,
despite goat meat being a nutritious and sustainable AFS, the consumption, availability, goat
meat is not a preferred AFS in sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa.
Aim: The study aim is to investigate the meat consumption preferences of young adults and
develop two sensorially acceptable goat meat products. The study further aimed to develop a
goat meat lexicon using different goat meat primals and sub-primals through different cooking
methods to establish a lexicon vocabulary that could guide product developers and encourage
consumption of goat meat as a sustainable and nutritious food source.
Methods: The first objective of the study was to determine the meat consumption pattern and
preferences of young adults from the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and University of
Zululand (UNIZULU). An online meat consumption and preference questionnaire was
developed and disseminated through email to students and completed (n=416). Objective two of
the study involved product development of the most popular processed meat products identified
in objective one, which were burger patties and sausages. Through a series recipe development
trial, goat meat patty and sausage were developed and tested for consumer acceptance by a pilot
sample (n=10). Essential to all food product development, the third objective involved nutrient
and microbial analysis and shelf-life testing. Selection, recruitment and training of a sensory
panel was the fourth objective of the study. The trained panel proceeded to develop a
comprehensive goat meat lexicon. Consumer acceptance of the goat meat patty and sausages by
students at both universities was determined by means of a food action rating scale, “Check-AllThat-Apply” (CATA) using terms from the goat meat lexicon, and a paired preference test
Results: Young adults from DUT and UNIZULU completed the online meat consumption and
preference questionnaire. Most of the participants were African (93%), mainly women (68%),
and most participants fell within the 18-20 years old (33.9%) and 21-24 years old (44.5%) age ranges. Findings indicated that a significant proportion of the participants consumed chicken
more than four times a month, consumed beef more than three times a month and consumed
pork at most twice a month (p<0.001). Most of the participants (78.6%) reported consuming goat
meat; however, the frequency of consumption was much lower in comparison to chicken, beef
and pork. Goat meat consumption by young adults was reported to be mainly due to cultural
practices. Key barriers to goat meat consumption included a lack of availability (33.7%) and an
unappealing aroma (25.8%). Findings from the first objective led to the development of goat
meat patties and sausages as these processed meats were commonly consumed by students.
Keeping in mind the barriers to consumption of goat meat, especially the sensory attributes,
development of the products involved a series of formulation trials, nutrient analysis, microbial
testing and shelf-life testing. Results from the nutrient analysis showed that both the patty (31.57
g/100 g) and the sausage (26.88 g/100 g) were high in protein. The total fat content for each
sample was less than 10 g per a 100 g portion.
To understand the full range of sensory attributes associated with goat meat to aid in the
development process, a goat meat lexicon was developed. Prior to the lexicon development,
participants were recruited (pre-screening survey), screened and attended a series of sensory
training workshops to heighten their sensory acuity (n=13). A comprehensive sensory training
manual was developed. The manual included pre-screening tests, three training workshops,
which covered a range of sensory evaluation tests including identification, discrimination, and
descriptive tests (conducted in duplicate) and a series of phases involved in developing the
lexicon. Upon completion of the training, nine of the participants met the minimum requirements
to proceed to the lexicon development phase. Lexicon development involved a series of phases
to generate, select and test the terms and definitions that the trained assessor selected as covering
the full range of sensory attributes of goat meat.
The terms developed in the lexicon were then tested by untrained participants using consumer
sensory evaluation. A total of 100 students (n=50 DUT and n=50 UNIZULU) were involved in
consumer sensory evaluation. Findings indicated that the words participants associated with the
goat meat burger included ‘smoky’ (aroma), ‘brownish-grey’ (appearance), ‘meaty’ (flavour)
and ‘tender’ (texture). The words associated with the goat meat sausage were ‘smoky’,
‘brownish grey’, ‘meaty’ and ‘chewy’. The majority of participants from both universities
identified the appearance of the goat meat sausage as ‘brownish-grey’. Comparing across the
universities, a significant number of students from UNIZULU selected the word ‘boiled’ for the goat meat sausage aroma (p=.015), whilst a significant number of students from DUT selected
‘smoky’ for the aroma (p=.003). In terms of the appearance of the sausage, a significant number
of students from DUT selected the word ‘pinkish-brown’ (p=.029), whilst a significant number
from UNIZULU selected ‘brownish-grey’ (p<.001). A significant number of participants from
DUT selected the descriptors ‘tender’ (p=.009) and ‘juicy’ (p=.012) to describe the texture of the
Overall, participants preferred the goat meat patty (66%) compared to the sausage (34%). The
majority of the participants from both universities showed a positive attitude as to whether they
would continue to eat the goat meat burger (78%) and sausage (68%).
Conclusion: The findings indicated the potential to promote goat meat availability at retail
outlets in South Africa, specifically through value-added convenience products. The study
produced a valid and reliable goat meat lexicon that could be used to assist product developers in
improving the sensory attributes of products developed with goat meat in the future. An
integrated approach, including consumer education and the increasing availability of goat meat
and value-added products, would improve the consumption of this sustainable and nutritious
protein source.
Dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of: Doctor of Applied Science in Food and Nutrition, Durban University of Technology, 2023.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

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