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

Sensory 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. At the moment of slaughtering, the animals of series IMF were four months older in the average. Depending on the muscle the effects on the meat quality were more or less strong. The shear force was significantly higher. Thus, PI show the most tender meat as to the muscle and to the age at the moment of slaughter. The AN, SI and CH do have a higher collagene content than the LI, PI and BA. Meat of PI steers was classified best for sensory quality along with the lowest IMF content. With respect to tenderness, SI steers hold the last position. In conclusion, the trial substantiates significant breed differences in meat quality and there is evidence that increasing intramuscular fat content did not contribute to improve meat quality.

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