American Lamb Board Working on Flavor Profile Research

December 10, 2021

The American Lamb Board (ALB) is undertaking groundbreaking research to investigate separating different flavor profiles of lamb at the processing level of production. The technology utilized was originally developed for the medical industry and is referred to as rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS). The project involves researchers from Colorado State University and Texas Tech University.

"Being able to classify lamb into flavor profiles has the potential to market lamb more successfully to consumers who like it milder or more intense," says Gwen Kitzan, ALB chair. "And we can accurately detect off-flavors and carcass characteristics at the processor to utilize the meat in the best way possible."

Phase three results show the REIMS-driven technology is quite accurate in predicting flavor attributes that correlate to what a 400-member consumer sensory testing panel would identify. The project also aims to determine how management practices such as age, sex, breed and feeding methods affect lamb flavor.

Lamb is the first meat industry to do such thorough investigation into REIMS and although it requires a step-by-step process, indications show the outcomes could be very beneficial to lamb marketers.

"The flavor profile work is an example of a long-term research project to address a significant barrier to increased American Lamb consumption that the Lamb Checkoff is steering with the ultimate goal of improving American Lamb quality and eating experiences for consumers," says Kitzan.

Phase three of the research is complete and the sensory panel reports are available upon request by emailing

The American Lamb Board (ALB) is an industry-funded national research, promotion and information checkoff program that works on behalf of all American producers, feeders, seedstock producers, direct marketers and processors to build awareness and demand for American Lamb. One of its long-term goals is to collaborate and communicate with industry partners and stakeholders to expand efforts to grow, promote, improve and support American Lamb.

Source: American Lamb Board