Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, rte de la Tioleyre 4, 1725 Posieux

Physico-chemical meat quality of steers of six beef breeds

Meat quality was investigated in 138 steers of the six meat breeds Angus (AN), Simmental (SI), Charolais (CH), Limousin (LI), Blonde d’Aquitaine (BL) and Piedmontese (PI). In one group (Series FG3), steers were slaughtered at the same finishing degree defined by the fat grading class 3 (CH-TAX), and in the other group (Series IMF), upon attaining a target intramuscular fat (IMF) content of 3 – 4 % in the longissimus dorsi muscle which was estimated ultrasonically. In the first group, an average IMF content of 1.7 % was measured, whereas the second group reached an IMF level of 3.2 %. In heavier and fatter animals of Series IMF the pH-fall was quicker. Their meat is also darker and contains about 20 % more heme iron. No quality faults (PSE, DCB) were observed. Meat of AN and CH steers was relatively pale in line with the lowest heme iron contents. In late maturity breeds (LI; BA; PI) the protein content is higher. Very low drip losses were determined in meat of AN steers. But the same breed presented the highest cooking losses.

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