Discection yields and nutrient value of Icelandic lamb meat and organs

Project title: Lamb meat - Utilization and chemical content

Partners: Icelandic lamb ehf, a cooperative of sheep & lamb farmers, is the owner of the project. The project is carried out by Matis - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D. The project is carried out in close cooperation with the butchering industry. Kjarnafæði-Norðlenska / SAH Afurðir at Blönduós and Sláturfélag Suðurlands at Selfoss provided lamb meat and their facilities for Matis staff. Samples of lamb organs were provided by Sláturfélag Suðurlands, Kaupfélag Skagfirðinga and Kjarnafæði-Norðlenska / SAH Afurðir. The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority provided importand information regarding lamb grade classification.

Research Fund: Icelandic Food Innovation Fund (is. Matvælasjóður)

Initial year: 2022

Service Category:



Ólafur Reykdal

Project Manager


The dissection yields for important lamb quality and fat grades are determined. Also, chemical composition of lamb meat and organs are determined. The project provides data that will replace out-dated information. These new data will be disseminated to the butchering and meat industries, together with farmers and consumers. New data was needed for marketing activities.

The needs for data on lamb meat classification and composition was studied. Lamb carcasses were collected during the slaughter season 2022 in two abattoirs (North and South Iceland). Fourteen different lamb organs were collected from three abattoirs. Lamb carcasses were divided into left and right halfs. The right half was cut into leg, forequarter, flanks and rack and loin and after freezing transported to Matis where samples were kept at -20 °C. Dissection was carried out at Matis and percentage fat, meat and bones reported. The left half will be used for measurements of lamb meat products as selected by the industry. Nutrients will be analysed in meat and organs. Analysis of protein and fat will be emphasised but analysis of the following components will also be carried out: Water, ash and selected vitamins and minerals.

The data will be used by the industry for planning, cost- and gross profit analysis and determination of product prices. Nutrition declarations for lamb meat will be updated. Results will be reported in Icelandic and English. Data will be available in the Icelandic Meat Book and the Icelandic Food Composition Data Base, both resources are available at the Matis website. Data will be disseminated to the industry, farmers and consumers.