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Muscle profiling of retail characteristics within the Canadian cull cow grades

Roberts J, Rodas-González A, Juárez M, López-Campos Ó, Larsen IL, Aalhus JL (2017) Muscle profiling of retail characteristics within the Canadian cull cow grades. Can J Anim Sci 97 (4):562-573. doi:10.1139/cjas-2017-0001  Access to full text


Composition, drip loss, objective colour, and measures of colour stability during 3 d of retail display were benchmarked for 11 muscles obtained from youthful beef and cow carcasses (n = 120). Traits were compared between the muscles from cow carcasses, graded using the Canadian grading system (D1, D2, D3, and D4; >50% ossification), and muscles from A/AA youthful carcasses [identified as under 30 mo (UTM) of age based on dentition and <50% ossification or over 30 mo (OTM) of age based on dentition, but <50% ossification]. Muscles from D3-graded carcasses had a lower intramuscular fat content, aside from these carcasses, all other cow carcass grades had muscles with either equivalent or higher fat content. Most muscles from cow carcasses had consistently darker meat (lower L*; P < 0.05), yet the colour stability measures were similar between most muscles from cow graded carcasses and UTM over 3 d of retail display. Notably, the infraspinatus (flat iron) from cow carcasses did not differ in colour from UTM beef. In general, OTM carcasses had similar colour and composition attributes to the UTM beef. Given the retail performance of muscles from cow carcasses, opportunities may exist to better utilize specific muscles from these carcasses.

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