There is potential to increase the value of meat from Holstein-Friesian bulls by increasing the proportion of carcasses that are of suitable quality to be eligible for primal cuts sold in high-value markets. The objective of this study was to explore relationships between carcass and meat-quality traits from Holstein-Friesian bulls between 21-38 months of age, slaughtered on different occasions. Meat samples of M. longissimus lumborum were collected at slaughter and chill-aged at -1.5ºC for seven days. The means (±s.d.) were: carcass weight 313±29 kg (n=256), dressing-out 54.7±2.6% (n=256), ultimate pH 5.9±0.38 (n=221), shear force 11.34±4.93 kgF (n=221), cook loss 28.4±5.4% (n=220) and colour indexes (n=159) L* (lightness) 36.06±2.96, a* (redness) 12.38±4.04 and b* (yellowness) 8.74±2.24. A total of 80 samples (36%) were found to be both of acceptable tenderness (below 10.9 kgF) and pH less than 5.8. Alleviating meat pH issues is required to ensure high-quality meat from bulls that is suitable for high-value primal cuts.

NP, Martin, NM Schreurs, ST Morris, JL McDade, CR Craigie, and RE Hickson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 78, Lincoln, 194-199, 2018
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