Physicochemical characteristics of dry aged beef from younger Nellore bulls slaughtered at different body weights
Reducing slaughter age can improve meat quality and reduce costs, while an ageing process can result in more standardized products. Thus, the objective of this paper was to measure the physicochemical characteristics of dry aged meat from younger Nellore bulls slaughtered at different body weights. Twenty-four Longissimus thoracis from young bulls (14 months of age) finished in a feedlot at body weights of 350, 400 and 450 kg were used. From each group (N = 8), samples were divided into three portions for 0, 14 and 28 days of dry ageing. After the samples reached their dry aged period weight, pH and colour were measured. Next, water losses, shear force, the chemical composition and the fatty acids profile of the meat were measured. Reducing slaughter weight (350 kg) of young bulls did not affect meat tenderness but increased saturated fatty acids contents at day 1 of dry ageing. During the dry ageing process, drip loss increased, but thawing losses were reduced. Colour parameter was reduced by dry ageing and meat becomes darker, but meat tenderness was increased. Dry ageing increased the ash content. Dry ageing increased saturated fatty acid and reduced the monounsaturated and saturated fatty acid ratio (MUFA/SFA), but did not change the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nellore young bulls (14 months) can be slaughtered with 400 or 450 kg without compromising physicochemical characteristics, while dry ageing improved meat tenderness but increased saturated fatty acids and changed meat colour.
KeywordsColour Meat quality Tenderness Zebu
The authors would like to thank the livestock enterprises that support us: the Oiteiros Farm for providing the animals used in the research and the Santa Cruz Farm owners for yielding the feedlot area to carry out the experiment.
The authors thank Timothy Schwinghamer, Agricultural Research Biostatistician from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, for his contributions to the statistical analyses.
The current project was funded by the Brazilian Council for Research and Technological Development (CNPq, process number 401458/2014-8). Trade names or commercial products in this publication are mentioned solely for the purpose of providing specific information and do not imply recommendations or endorsement by the Department of Animal Science, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.
Compliance with ethical standards
Animals were cared for in accordance with acceptable practices and experimental protocols reviewed and approved by Animal Ethics Committee at the Federal University of Sergipe (protocol n° 04/2016).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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