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More muscular carcasses have a lower incidence of dark cutting syndrome

McGilchrist, P., Alston, C., Gardner, G.E., Thomson, K.L. and Pethick, D. (2011) More muscular carcasses have a lower incidence of dark cutting syndrome. In: 57th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology 2011 (ICoMST 2011), 7 - 12 August, Ghent, Belgium pp. 291-293.

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Abstract

Dark cutting beef costs Australian beef producers around $7.09 per animal graded under Meat Standards Australia (MSA) due to its impact on meat quality. The objective of this experiment was to determine if carcass muscularity as determined by eye muscle area adjusted for carcass weight taken at the time of MSA grading could explain variance in ultimate pH (pHu) due to an affect on muscle glycogen concentration. MSA beef carcass grading data was obtained from a Western Australian beef processor between February 2002 and December 2008 containing 204,072 carcass records. The effects of muscling on pHu were analysed using a logit model within a bayesian framework. The model was adjusted for a range of production factors such as loin temperature at time of grading, season, gender, finishing system, tropical breed content and lot size along with phenotypic measures such as eye muscle area (EMA), ossification score, hot standard carcass weight, MSA marbling score and rib fat depth were also included (results not shown). Muscling had a significant impact on pHu compliance with an increase in eye muscle area of from 40 to 80 cm2, increasing compliance by around 14% (P<0.001). An increase in compliance in more muscular cattle may be the result of increased insulin responsiveness, reduced adrenaline responsiveness and more muscle glycogen in these animals at slaughter. Thus breeding more muscular cattle with an eye muscle area greater than 70 cm2 may help alleviate the problem of dark cutting beef in Australia.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/20817
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