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More muscular, younger cattle have a lower incidence of dark cutting

McGilchrist, P., Thomson, K.L., Pethick, D.W., Jacob, R.H. and Gardner, G.E. (2010) More muscular, younger cattle have a lower incidence of dark cutting. In: 3rd EAAP International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition, 6 - 10 September, Parma, Italy pp. 665-666.

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Beef cattle in Australia arc commonly selected for muscularity and growth to increase efficiency and profitability. However, it is unknown if selection for greater muscling and growth will Impact on the incidence of dark cutting. Dark cutting in beef carcasses is one of the largest problems affecting meat quality within the beef industry world-wide, costing millions of dollars per annum in discounted beef Dark cutting or pH>5.7 is also the largest cause of carcasses failing to grade under the Meat Standards Australia carcass grading system. Dark cutting is caused by low muscle glycogen levels at slaughter. Muscle glycogen at slaughter is a function of basal muscle glycogen minus the quantity of glycogen utilised during the stressful pre-slaughter period. Controlled experiments in cattle and sheep have shown that the high muscled and younger animals have lower muscle responsiveness to adrenaline (Martin el al, 2010; McGilchrist el al., 2009) as well as increased glycogen storage (McGilchrist et al.. 2009) This is likely to result in higher levels of muscle glycogen at slaughter and reduced incidence of dark culling. The aim of this study was to assess whether a decrease in adrenaline responsiveness would impact at a broader industry level. Thus, we hypothesised that younger cattle with greater phenotypic muscling would have a lower incidence of dark cutting when slaughtered at a commercial processing plant.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers
Copyright: © Wageningen Academic Publishers
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