Suckler bulls slaughtered at 15 months of age: effect of different production systems on the fatty acid profile and selected quality characteristics of Longissimus thoracis

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Moran, Lara
Wilson, Shannon S.
McElhinney, Cormac K.
Monahan, Frank J.
McGee, Mark
O'Sullivan, Maurice G.
O'Riordan, Edward G.
Kerry, Joseph P.
Moloney, Aidan P.
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The objective was to compare the quality of beef from bulls reared in typical Irish indoor systems or in novel grass-based systems. Bulls were assigned to one of the following systems: (a) grass silage plus barley-based concentrate ad libitum (CON); (b) grass silage ad libitum plus 5 kg of concentrate (SC); (c) grazed grass without supplementation (G0); (d) grazed grass plus 0.5 kg of the dietary dry matter intake as concentrate (GC) for (100 days) until slaughter (14.99 months). Carcass characteristics and pH decline were recorded. Longissimus thoracis was collected for analytical and sensory analysis. Lower carcass weight, conformation and fatness scores were found for grazing compared to CON and SC groups. CON bulls had highest intramuscular fat and lighter meat colour compared with grazing bulls. The SC meat (14 days aged) was rated higher for tenderness, texture, flavour and acceptability compared with grazing groups. CON saturated and monounsaturated fatty acid (FA) concentration was highest, conversely, omega-3 FA concentration was higher for GC compared with CON, while no differences were found in polyunsaturated FA. In conclusion, while market fatness specification was not reached by grazed grass treatments, beef eating quality was not detrimentally affected and nutritional quality was improved.
Grass-fed , Young bulls , Nutritional quality , Tenderness , Carcass characteristics , Pasture
Moran, L., Wilson, S. S., McElhinney, C. K., Monahan, F. J., McGee, M., O’Sullivan, M. G., O’Riordan, E. G., Kerry, J. P. and Moloney, A. P. (2019) 'Suckler Bulls Slaughtered at 15 Months of Age: Effect of Different Production Systems on the Fatty Acid Profile and Selected Quality Characteristics of Longissimus Thoracis', Foods, 8(7), 264. (17pp.) DOI: 10.3390/foods8070264
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