In order to achieve an attractive and differentiated product for the consumer and to optimize and to maximize profitability for the farmers within the EU Protected Geographical Indication “Carne de Ávila”, 24 yearling males of Avileña-Negra Ibérica breed were used to evaluate the effect of 2 feeding systems, concentrate (CON) and maize silage (SIL), and 2 packaging systems, vacuum (VAC) and modified atmosphere (MAP), on fatty acid composition, proximate analysis, water holding capacity and consumer acceptability of meat in 2 muscles: Longissimus thoracis
(LT) and Semitendinosus
(ST). Animals fed with concentrate showed higher carcass weight. However, feeding did not affect the proximate analysis of the meat. The use of maize silage improved the amount of conjugated linoleic acid and n
-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and the relation n
-3 PUFA. In LT muscle, feeding influenced texture, samples from SIL being more tender. The VAC packaging showed higher cooking losses than MAP in both muscles. Aging increased tenderness and cooking losses but decreased thawing losses. LT samples from SIL feeding were better accepted by consumers and VAC packaging showed higher scores than MAP. We can conclude that the use of maize silage could be an alternative feeding for this type of animals improving some aspects of the quality of the meat.
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