A hand held Raman probe was used to predict shear force (SF) of fresh lamb m. semimembranosus (topside). Eighty muscles were measured at 1 day PM and after a further 4 days ageing (5 days PM). At 1 day PM sarcomere length (SL) and particle size (PS) were measured and at 5 days PM, SF, PS, cooking loss (CL) and pH were also measured. SF values were regressed against Raman spectra using partial least squares regression and against traditional predictors (e.g. SL) using linear regression. The best prediction of SF used spectra at 1 day PM which gave a root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) of 11.5 N (Null = 13.2) and the squared correlation between observed and cross validated predicted values (R2cv) was 0.27. Prediction of SF based on the traditional predictors had smaller R2 values than using Raman spectra justifying further study on Raman spectroscopy.