Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Differences between sexes, muscles and aging times on the quality of meat from Wagyu × Angus cattle finished in feedlot

R. M. S. Carvalho A , C. A. Boari A , S. D. J. Villela A , A. V. Pires A , M. H. F. Mourthé B , F. R. Oliveira A , M. A. Dumont A , R. P. Gontijo A , A. R. Lobo-Jr C and P. G. M. A. Martins A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys, Department of Animal Sciences, Diamantina, MG 39100-000, Brazil.

B Federal University of Minas Gerais, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Montes Claros, MG 39404-547, Brazil.

C Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Unaí, MG 38610-000, Brazil.

D Corresponding author. Email: pgmartins@outlook.com

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15804
Submitted: 13 November 2015  Accepted: 18 July 2016   Published online: 26 September 2016

Abstract

Our objectives were to assess quality parameters and chemical composition, and to evaluate the effects of sex, muscle and aging time on the quality of meats from Wagyu × Angus cross cattle reared under tropical conditions. Analyses were performed on the longissimus thoracis, semitendinosus and triceps brachii muscles obtained from chilled carcasses of a total of 30, 24-month-old, male (immunocastrated) and female animals (15 each sex). An effect of sex (P ≤ 0.05) was observed for subcutaneous fat thickness, marbling score, and ribeye area. The longissimus thoracis muscle from males was less (P < 0.0001) marbled than that from females, but males had greater subcutaneous fat thickness (P = 0.0001) and greater ribeye area (P = 0.0411) compared with females. No effect of sex (P ≥ 0.05) was observed for fat colour measures. An interaction effect of sex and muscle (P < 0.03) was detected for cooking loss, yellow intensity (b*), ash, and fat. Main effect of sex was not observed (P > 0.07) only for the ultimate pH and water-holding capacity. Greater shear force and moisture values were observed (P < 0.01) in meat from males than that from females, but a greater value of luminance (L*), red intensity (a*), chroma (C), hue (Ho), dry matter and protein was observed (P < 0.001) in meat from females than that from males. Main effect of muscle was not observed only for water-holding capacity (P = 0.13). Ultimate pH and shear force values were lesser (P < 0.001) in the longissimus thoracis muscle compared with other muscles. The triceps brachii muscle had the least (P ≤ 0.001) L* and Ho values among muscles, whereas the semitendinosus muscle had the greatest values of a* and C (P < 0.001). The semitendinosus muscle presented the greatest (P < 0.01) protein content compared with other muscles, although not differing in moisture and dry matter content from the triceps brachii muscle. An interaction effect of sex × aging time was observed for ultimate pH (P = 0.0110), meat colour parameters (except for Ho; P ≤ 0.01), and fat L* (P = 0.0025). Greater cooking loss, shear force, and fat a* values were observed (P < 0.01) in meat from males than that from females, but greater values of meat Ho, fat a* and Ho, dry matter, and protein were observed (P ≤ 0.03) in meat from females than that from males. Meat aging of longissimus thoracis reduced shear force. Based on these findings, we recommend that meat from Wagyu × Angus cross cattle should be aged during 7 days because, although differences between 7 and 14 days were observed in either aging times, meat subjected to this process is considered as very tender, based on shear force values. In addition, aging in a shorter period of time can reflect on costs by reducing particularly those related with energy, due to less refrigeration time.

Additional keywords: longissimus thoracis, marbling, semitendinosus, shear force, triceps brachii.


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