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Volume 44, issue 5
Arch. Anim. Breed., 44, 473–488, 2001
© Author(s) 2001. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Arch. Anim. Breed., 44, 473–488, 2001
© Author(s) 2001. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  10 Oct 2001

10 Oct 2001

Characteristics of steers of six beef breeds fattened from eight months of age and slaughtered at a target level of intramuscular fat – II. Meat quality

A. Chambaz1, M. Kreuzer2, M. R. L. Scheeder2, and P.-A. Dufey1 A. Chambaz et al.
  • 1Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production, 1725 Posieux, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Animal Sciences, Animal Nutrition, ETH Zürich, ETH-Zentrum, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. Meat quality of Angus (AN), Simmental (SI), Charolais (CH), Limousin (LI), Blonde d'Aquitaine (BL), and Piedmontese (PI) steers (n = 22 per breed group) was measured in the M. longissimus dorsi (M.l.d.) and the M. biceps femoris, regio glutea (M.b.f.). Animals were fattened in two subsequent series on a forage-based diet until a target level of 3.5 % intramuscular fat (IMF) was reached aecording to real-time ultrasound assessments in the live animals or until 15 months of fattening had passed. Series 1 was performed in a tie-stall barn while a loosehousing system with straw bedding was applied in series 2. The actually measured IMF contents in M.l.d. were 3.35, 3.47, 3.49, 3.48, 2.34 and 2.40 % for AN, SI, CH, LI, BL and PI, respectively. Breed group differences in IMF content were mostly accompanied by a contrary Variation either in muscle water or protein content. Muscle cholesterol levels were similar for all breeds amounting to 47 and 51 mg/100 g on average in M.l.d. and M.b.f, respectively. Early and late postmortem muscle pH was relatively similar among breeds, but water-holding capacity, measured as losses due to drip, ageing, thawing and cooking, was unfavourably high in AN (drip loss excepted) in both muscles. Cooking loss tended to be lowest in PI, drip loss in SI. The AN showed the palest meat. In line with lightness, heme iron contents were clearly lowest in both muscles in the AN steers. There was no relationship found between IMF and shear force among breed groups. No significant differences between breed groups occurred in M.l.d. collagen solubility and shear force. Apart from breed differences, there were several differences noted between fattening series, namely clearly better water-holding capacity and lower shear force of the meat from series 2 (group housing) than from series 1 (tied System). The results indicate that in steers of similar IMF content and raised under the same feeding and management conditions, differences in most M.l.d. and M.b.f. quality traits were apparent, with the exception of shear force and M.l.d. collagen solubility.