Determination of the flavor attributes of cooked beef from cross-bred Angus steers fed corn- or barley-based diets.
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Eighteen commercial Angus cross-bred feedlot steers of similar hip height and live weight were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatment groups: corn-, corn/barley, or barleybased diets (n = 6 per treatment). Steers were fed for 102-103 days on their respective diets prior to slaughter. Live animal performance traits, carcass characteristics, total lipid and descriptive flavor and descriptive palatability attributes of beef strip loin steaks were determined. End live weight (P = 0.88) did not differ between dietary treatments. Beef carcasses from steers fed corn-, barley-, and corn/barley-based diets did not differ in hot carcass weight (P = 0.18), ribeye area (P = 0.21), kidney, pelvic and heart fat (KPH) (P = 0.35), and yield grade (P = 0.14). However, adjusted preliminary yield grade was higher (P = 0.03) for carcasses from steers fed corn/barley-based diets than carcasses from steers fed barley as the dietary energy source. These data suggest that carcasses from steers fed barley-based diets were lower in external fat. Quality grade characteristics were not different in beef carcasses from steers fed either corn-, barley-, or a corn/barley-based diet. Cook time (P = 0.37), cooking loss (P = 0.83), descriptive meat palatability attributes (P > 0.27), Warner-Bratzler shear force (P = 0.25), and descriptive sensory flavor attributes (P 0.17) did not differ for steaks from steers fed the three diets prior to slaughter. The Japanese have claimed that feeding cattle barley-based high energy diets result in beef with different flavor than when cattle are fed high-energy corn-based diets. These results indicated that the eating quality, tenderness and flavor attributes of beef steaks were not influenced by the dietary grain source fed to young steers in this study prior to slaughter.