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Assessment of Stress by Serum Biomarkers in Calves and Their Relationship to Ultimate pH as an Indicator of Meat Quality

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Meat Quality Area, Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de Extremadura (CICYTEX-La Orden), Extremadura Regional Council, 06187 Guadajira, Badajoz, Spain
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Centro Tecnológico de la Carne de Galicia, Av. de Galicia Nº 4, Parque Tecnológico de Galicia, 32900 San Cibrao das Viñas, Ourense, Spain
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Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (CSIC), Avenida Agustín Escardino, 7, 46980 Paterna, Valencia, Spain
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Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (SERIDA), Ctra AS-267 PK19, 33300 Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Hässig
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2291; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082291
Received: 27 May 2021 / Revised: 26 July 2021 / Accepted: 31 July 2021 / Published: 3 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
The routine handling of cattle during the rearing period and during antemortem events is an inevitable source of animal stress that can have negative impacts on the quality of meat, resulting in economic losses for the meat industry. This study assesses the breed, the farm management system, and the pre-mortem handling of animals and their impact on serum stress biomarkers, as well as their relationship with pHu. The findings indicate that breed, together with farm management, had the highest impact; cortisol, lactate, and serum amyloid A were identified as potential stress biomarkers in relation to pHu. We believe that these findings might help in the assessment of stress in cattle at the stage prior to slaughter.
Seventy-eight calves from Asturiana de los Valles, Retinta, and Rubia Gallega breeds, under extensive and intensive farm systems and animal mixing and non-mixing conditions, and during the transport and lairage in slaughterhouses, were studied. This research aimed to study the effect of breed, farm system and mixing conditions on serum biomarkers (cortisol, lactate, glucose, serum amyloid A, haptoglobin, and C-reactive protein) and their relationship with pHu at slaughter time, and to evaluate the response of the serum biomarkers of calves throughout fattening period. Moreover, this study aims to evaluate the response of the biomarkers in each breed during the fattening period. At slaughter time, cortisol and lactate were affected by BreedxFarm; Retinta showed the opposite pattern to the others and revealed the highest glucose in extensive farm systems. Rubia Gallega in mixing revealed the highest Amyloid A and haptoglobin. Extensive calves in mixing conditions showed the highest glucose. There was a relationship among the variables cortisol, lactate, Amyloid A, and pHu. Slaughter time was a major stressor, and the stress response was mainly affected by breed. At slaughter, several biomarkers should be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: farm management; breed; transport; mixing of animal; slaughter time farm management; breed; transport; mixing of animal; slaughter time
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MDPI and ACS Style

García-Torres, S.; Cabeza de Vaca, M.; Tejerina, D.; Romero-Fernández, M.P.; Ortiz, A.; Franco, D.; Sentandreu, M.A.; Oliván, M. Assessment of Stress by Serum Biomarkers in Calves and Their Relationship to Ultimate pH as an Indicator of Meat Quality. Animals 2021, 11, 2291. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082291

AMA Style

García-Torres S, Cabeza de Vaca M, Tejerina D, Romero-Fernández MP, Ortiz A, Franco D, Sentandreu MA, Oliván M. Assessment of Stress by Serum Biomarkers in Calves and Their Relationship to Ultimate pH as an Indicator of Meat Quality. Animals. 2021; 11(8):2291. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082291

Chicago/Turabian Style

García-Torres, Susana, María Cabeza de Vaca, David Tejerina, María P. Romero-Fernández, Alberto Ortiz, Daniel Franco, Miguel A. Sentandreu, and Mamen Oliván. 2021. "Assessment of Stress by Serum Biomarkers in Calves and Their Relationship to Ultimate pH as an Indicator of Meat Quality" Animals 11, no. 8: 2291. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082291

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