Physical, chemical, histological and palatability characteristics of muscles from three breed-types of cattle at different times-on-feed.
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Forty-five steers (9-12 months of age) of Angus (n =15), Brahman (n = 15) and Brahman Angus (n = 15) breed-types were fed a high-energy diet and then slaughtered after 0, 112 or 224 days of feeding. At 7 days post mortem, the M. longissimus and M. biceps femoris were removed from the left side of each carcass and steaks were obtained for determination of sensory panel ratings, Warner-Bratzler shear force, sarcomere length, collagen content and collagen solubility. Tenderness ratings of steaks from the M. longissimus and M. biceps femoris from Angus were generally higher than ratings for steaks from Brahman or Brahman Angus steers. Steaks from Brahman Angus received higher tenderness ratings than steaks from Brahman steers in only a few comparisons. The three breed-types of cattle responded to time-on-feed differently; Brahman cattle needed to have been fed longer than Angus cattle to produce equally tender beef. With increased time-on-feed, M. longissimus tenderness increased for all breed-types, but M. biceps femoris tenderness was not related to time-on-feed. Few significant differences were observed among breed-types and among time-on-feed periods for collagen content or collagen solubility. Tenderness differences were closely correlated with the contractile state of the muscle which, in turn, was associated with weight, subcutaneous fat thickness and temperature decline of the carcass.