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Relationships Between Cull Beef Cow Characteristics, Finishing Practices and Meat Quality Traits of Longissimus thoracis and Rectus abdominis

1
Unité de Recherche sur les Systèmes d’Elevage, Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures, Université Bretagne-Loire, 55, rue Rabelais, BP 30748, F-49007 Angers, France
2
Université Clermont Auvergne, INRA, VetAgro Sup, UMR Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8040141
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract

The aim of study was to investigate the relationships between the characteristics of cull beef cows in the Rouge des Prés breed, finishing practices and physicochemical characteristics and sensory traits of Longissimus thoracis (LT) and Rectus abdominis (RA) muscles from 111 cows. On the basis of our surveys, which qualify at cow level the animal characteristics and finishing diet, clusters of cull cows and finishing practices are created and their effects tested on LT and RA meat quality. Old and heavy cows with good suckling ability (95 months, 466 kg and 7.1/10) are characterized by LT with larger fibers, and higher intramuscular fat content and fat-to-muscle ratio. Young and heavy cows with low suckling ability (54 months, 474 kg and 4.4/10) are characterized by LT and RA with lower MyHC IIx and higher MyHC IIa and MyHC I proportions. MyHC IIx and IIa proportions are lower and a* and b* color indices higher when cows are finished on pasture, probably related to grass diet and physical activity. The fat-to-muscle ratio is higher without any effect on the intramuscular fat content when cows are finished over a short period (107 days) with a high level of concentrate (9.7 kg/day). The opposite effect is observed over a long period (142 days) with a low level of concentrate (5.8 kg/day), confirming the interaction effect between finishing duration and amount of energy concentrate on the allotment of adipose tissue deposit. View Full-Text
Keywords: suckling cattle; cull cow; meat quality; finishing practices; farm survey suckling cattle; cull cow; meat quality; finishing practices; farm survey
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Couvreur, S.; Le Bec, G.; Micol, D.; Picard, B. Relationships Between Cull Beef Cow Characteristics, Finishing Practices and Meat Quality Traits of Longissimus thoracis and Rectus abdominis. Foods 2019, 8, 141.

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