Body size, carcass and meat quality of three commercial beef categories of "Serrana de Teruel" breed
The aim of this study was to analyse three commercial beef categories of the ‘Serrana de Teruel breed’ to define the appropriate commercial option. Twenty ‘Serrana de Teruel’ male calves at 9 months were assigned to the commercial beef categories (young bulls, bulls and steers), slaughtered at 12, 22 and 22 months of age, respectively. The in vivo ultrasound backfat thickness was greater than the dorsal fat thickness, and the young bulls and steers had a similar fat thickness, that was greater than the bulls in both areas. The slaughter weight and cold carcass weight were significantly different between the commercial categories. However, the differences were not sufficient to modify the dressing percentage, carcass conformation and fatness degree between the young bulls and bulls. The maximum stress of the muscle at 7 d of ageing was lower in the steers than in the young bulls and bulls. In general, the lightness of the meat in the bulls was lower than that in the young bulls and steers. The subcutaneous fat of the bull carcasses had a vivid colour and stored more carotenoids than that of the young bulls and steers. Hence, bulls produced heavier and better conformed carcasses with more edible meat and less fat than the other categories. However, steers are recommended to produce large carcasses with more trim and cover fat than the other categories. Finally, it seems that bulls are the most suitable commercial category to ‘Serrana de Teruel’ breed.
Journal or Serie
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 2016, vol. 14, núm. 3, e0604