Beef quality traits of Nellore, F1 Simmental × Nellore and F1 Angus × Nellore steers fed at the maintenance level or ad libitum with two concentrate levels in the diet


Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia




This trial was conducted to evaluate some beef quality attributes of Nellore, F1 Simmental × Nellore and F1 Angus × Nellore steers finished on feedlot. The effects of feeding regime and genetic group on shear force, thawing losses, cooking (leak + evaporation) losses, total losses and muscle fiber type, as well as carcass pH and temperature during 24 h of chilling were evaluated. There was a genetic group effect on shear force, where the beef from F1 Simmental × Nellore and F1 Angus × Nellore animals had lower values than Nellore animals. Beef of the animals fed the diets with 1% and 2% of body weight on concentrated lost more liquid than the meat of the animals fed at maintenance during thawing and when considering total losses. During cooking there was a difference among the feeding regimes for drip losses which were greater on the animals fed the diet of 1% of body weight on concentrate, followed by the 2% diet and, finally, by the animals fed at maintenance. The muscle of the Nellore steers had larger proportion of intermediate fibers and lower proportion of oxidative fibers than the crossbred animals. The proportion of glycolytic fibers was not influenced by genetic group. The Nellore animals had larger proportion of fibers of fast contraction and smaller proportion of fibers of slow contraction when compared with the crossbred animals. Feeding regime did not influence the proportion of muscular fibers or shear force. Nellore cattle produce tougher beef than crossbred Simmental × Nellore or Angus × Nellore, although all of them have the potential to produce an acceptable beef when slaughtered at young age. Feed restriction up to 90 days is not enough to cause modification on muscle fiber frequencies, then not affecting beef quality.

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