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      The effect of extended post-mortem ageing on the Warner–Brazler shear force of longissimus thoracis from beef heifers from two sire breeds, slaughtered at 20 or 25 mo of age

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          The effects on tenderness of extended ageing of longissimus thoracis (LT, striploin) muscle that differed in structure and composition were examined. Spring-born Angus × Holstein-Friesian heifers (n = 48) and Belgian Blue × Holstein-Friesian heifers (n = 48) were slaughtered, within sire breed, at 20 or 25 mo of age. Approximately 48 h post-mortem, LT steaks (2.5 cm) were removed, and either stored at −20°C for chemical analysis or vacuum-packed, stored at 2°C for 7, 14 or 28 d post-mortem and then at −20°C pending Warner–Bratzler shear force (WBSF) analysis. Muscle from Angus-sired heifers had higher (P < 0.001) intramuscular fat (IMF) concentration, lower (P < 0.001) proportion of type IIX muscle fibres and higher (P < 0.001) proportion of type IIA and type I muscle fibres compared to muscle from Belgian Blue-sired heifers. Collagen characteristics did not differ between sire breeds. Later slaughter increased (P < 0.001) IMF concentration and decreased (P < 0.001) total and insoluble concentrations and collagen solubility. There were no interactions between the main effects for WBSF and no difference between sire breeds. Later slaughter and increasing the duration of ageing decreased (P < 0.05) WBSF. Based on threshold WBSF values in the literature, all samples would be considered tender (<39 N) after 7 d ageing. Untrained consumers are likely to detect the decrease in WBSF from 7 to 14 d ageing but not due to further ageing. Within the production system examined and based on WBSF data, extending LT ageing to 28 d is not necessary to ensure consumer satisfaction.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Consumer thresholds for establishing the value of beef tenderness.

          In the present study, a national consumer evaluation was conducted for beef tenderness on USDA Select strip loin steaks of known Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force values, ranging from tough (> 5.7 kg) to tender ( or = 86% consumer acceptability. Consumer acceptability for tenderness decreased from 86% at 4.3 kg for a "slightly tender" rating to 59% at 4.9 kg for a "slightly tough" rating. Data from the present study suggested that consumer WBS tenderness values of 4.9 kg would result in 100, 99, 94, 86, and 25% customer satisfaction for beef tenderness, respectively. Seventy-eight percent of the consumers would purchase steaks if the retailer guaranteed them to be tender. The retail steak value differences found in this study would result in the opportunity for a premium to be paid for a guaranteed tender ( 5.7 kg) classification. A premium of $66.96 could be paid to the tender classification carcasses vs the tough (> 4.9 kg) classification carcasses, and a premium of $36.58 could be paid for the tender classification carcasses vs the intermediate (> 3.0 to < 4.6 kg) classification carcasses. Results from the present study show that consumers can segregate differences in beef tenderness and that consumers are willing to pay more for more-tender beef.
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            Revisiting the conversion of muscle into meat and the underlying mechanisms.

            The conversion of muscle into meat is a complex process in which all mechanisms responsible for the development of meat qualities are very likely interdependent. Colour and flavour are thus both dependent on oxidative mechanisms. Oxidation and proteolysis are probably two processes involved in the development of meat tenderness. This paper reviewed the consequences of programmed cell death or apoptosis on muscle cells structure and biochemistry and on meat qualities as well. We therefore look at different new hypothesis susceptible to highlight the meat science field and provide new supports for a more dynamic meat research. One of them which would have appeared evident for our purpose since a decade, deals with the fact that, after animal bleeding, muscle cells have no other alternative to only enter the programmed cell death procedure or apoptosis. If we introduce an early phase corresponding to apoptosis, taking place before the rigor onset and overlapping it, we will see that the known consequences of that process bring forward possible answers to still unexplained observations. After an overview of the actual state-of-the-art in meat science, we will introduce the programmed cell death and its underlying mechanisms. We then described the strong analogies between the known consequences of apoptosis and the postmortem changes affecting a set of different muscle characteristics.
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              Meat quality of Angus, Simmental, Charolais and Limousin steers compared at the same intramuscular fat content.

              Meat quality and marbling properties of Angus, Simmental, Charolais and Limousin steers (4×16) were compared at an average intramuscular fat content (IMF) of 3.25% in the M. longissimus dorsi. The steers were fattened on a forage-based diet until the desired, ultrasonically estimated IMF content was reached which resulted in considerably different growth and carcass characteristics. The Angus group showed a growth rate similar to Simmental and Charolais while Limousin grew slower, became oldest and provided the heaviest carcasses and best conformation. Angus carcasses showed the lowest weight but the highest fatness score. Marbling was equal for all breeds. Angus and Charolais provided pale meat with low haem iron content. Angus and Limousin beef was more tender on sensory assessment than Simmental beef, corresponding to differences found in shear force (non-significant) and myofibrillar fragmentation index measured at 48 h post mortem. Flavour was similar among breed groups while juiciness was highest for Limousin and lowest for Angus. The juicier beef simultaneously showed the highest drip but the lowest cooking losses. In conclusion, clear differences in meat quality were observed between breeds despite similar IMF contents.

                Author and article information

                Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                22 December 2020
                1Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland
                2INRAE, Université Clermont Auvergne, VetAgro Sup, UMR Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
                3Teagasc, Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland
                Author notes
                †Corresponding author: A.P. Moloney, E-mail: aidan.moloney@

                *Present address: Lascaray Research Centre, University of the Basque Country, Miguel de Unamuno 3, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

                Copyright © 2020 Moloney, Picard, and Moran

                This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IE.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 4, References: 40, Pages: 9
                Original Study


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