J.P. Kerry
D.J. Buckley
S.C. Maher
Anne Maria Mullen
Aidan P Moloney



beef production meat quality cattle irish post mortem shear force tenderness beef beef cattle

Variation in the quality of meat from Irish steers at the time of slaughter. (2004)

Abstract There is no information on the variation in quality, in particulartenderness, that exists in Irish Beef nor is there information on thevariation that would remain if optimum practices were imposed atall stages of the beef production chain. Evaluation of the success ofmeasures to improve beef consistency requires information onexisting variation and the minimum variation achievable.The objectivesof this project were (i) to establish the variation that exists inthe quality of meat from Irish cattle, (ii) to quantify the minimumvariation in meat quality that can be achieved in a practical beef productionsystem, (iii) to determine the effects and mechanisms ofadditional sources of variation.The conclusions from this project are:• The M. longissimus dorsi (loin) was found to be more variablethan the M. semimembranosus (topside) for most qualityattributes examined (tenderness, sarcomere length and pH).The scale of variation within the loin was similar to thatreported by the other research groups within the EU and US.Heifers were more variable than steers for most attributes,while there was no consistent classification effect on thevariability of meat quality attributes.• Tenderness was equally variable in meat from genetically similarsteers, managed similarly, compared to commercial steersrandomly selected from a factory lairage but matched forweight and grade.This was likely a result of both groups beingcrossbred beef cattle of similar age, fat score, carcass weightand managed identically post-mortem. However, variation intenderness of both groups was less than that observed ina survey of commercial throughput (experiment 1). Thisdecrease is attributed to better pre-and-post-slaughter handlingpractices.• The data suggest that selection of sires (within a breed) withbetter than average conformation has no deleterious effect on the eating quality of beef of their progeny.A more comprehensivecomparison of sires within a breed and betweenbreeds is required to confirm the generality of this conclusion.• In a comparison of genotypes, gender and slaughter weights,there was no evidence that variation around the mean valuefor tenderness differed between breeds or liveweights after14 days ageing. Bulls were more variable than steers for somequality traits but the variation in tenderness was similar forbulls and steers after 14 days ageing.• While optimising the management of animals during the preand post-slaughter period reduced variation in tenderness,some residual variation remained. A large percentage of theresidual variation in tenderness (Warner Bratzler shear force)after 2 and 7 days post-mortem was explained by proteolysis(breakdown of myofibrillar proteins).Variation in tenderness(Warner Bratzler shear force) after 2 days post-mortem waslargely explained by phosphates (energy) and proteolysis,while sensory tenderness was largely explained by phosphatesand glycolytic potential.• Further work is required to reduce residual variation in Irishbeef and to determine the causes of this variation.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> AGRIP End of Project Reports
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Food Quality & Sensory Science
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Food Programme End of Project Reports

Full list of authors on original publication

J.P. Kerry, D.J. Buckley, S.C. Maher, Anne Maria Mullen, Aidan P Moloney

Experts in our system

J P Kerry
University College Cork
Total Publications: 130
Anne Maria Mullen
Total Publications: 50
A P Moloney
Total Publications: 89