Comparative effects of beta-adrenergic agonist supplementation on the yield and quality attributes of selected subprimals from calf-fed Holstein steers

Jennifer Martin, Andrea Garmyn, Markus Miller, J. M. Hodgen, K. D. Pfeiffer, C. L. Thomas, Ryan Rathmann, D. A. Yates, J. P. Hutcheson, J Brooks

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Mechanical portioning tests were performed on beef rib, strip loin, tenderloin, and top sirloin subprimals obtained from calf-fed Holstein steers to characterize the influence of zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH), ractopamine hydrochloride (RH), or no β-adrenergic agonist (βAA; CON) on subprimal and steak yield. In addition, βAA effects on tenderness, composition, and raw and cooked color of steaks from the aforementioned strip loin subprimals were characterized. At 14 to 15 d (ribs, tenderloins, and top sirloin) or 16 d (strip loin) postmortem, subprimals were portioned into steaks using a mechanical portioning machine. The appropriate variables were measured before and after portioning to determine βAA influence on trimmed and untrimmed subprimal weight, subprimal length (rib only), steak weight and yield, and steak thickness (rib only). Steaks obtained from the strip loin subprimals were subjected to analysis of raw instrument color (L*, a*, b*), proximate composition, and pH. In addition, strip steaks were aged (16 or 23 d) before analysis of cooked internal color, Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), and slice shear force (SSF). Briefly, ZH supplementation increased (P < 0.01) the weight of all subprimals when compared to CON. Furthermore, subprimals from CON animals consistently had fewer and lighter steaks (P ≤ 0.04) than subprimals from ZH-fed steers. Additionally, raw steaks from ZH cattle were a less vivid red (lower a* and saturation index values; P < 0.01) when compared to CON and RH steaks, which did not differ (P > 0.05). There was no interaction between βAA treatment and postmortem aging length for WBSF or SSF (P > 0.10). However, CON steaks (3.25 kg) had lower WBSF values (P < 0.05) than ZH or RH steaks (3.68 and 3.67 kg, respectively). Regardless, aging for 23 d vs. 16 d resulted in decreased WBSF and SSF (P < 0.01) for all βAA treatments. Although differences were numerically small, evaluations indicated the internal cooked surfaces of ZH and RH steaks were less red (P < 0.05) than CON steaks. Overall, these data reemphasize increased subprimal weights due to βAA supplementation, particularly ZH. However, the data are not indicative of increased steak yield due to βAA supplementation. Furthermore, the data demonstrate βAA supplementation increases the shear force of calf-fed Holstein strip steaks regardless of postmortem aging period. However, no differences in shear force between the βAA treatments (ZH or RH) were noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4204-4216
JournalDefault journal
StatePublished - 2014


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