Effect of feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride to beef and calf-fed Holstein cattle on consumer palatability ratings

J. M. Mehaffey, J. C. Brooks, R. J. Rathmann, E. M. Alsup, J. P. Hutcheson, W. T. Nichols, M. N. Streeter, D. A. Yates, B. J. Johnson, M. F. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The need to provide consumer data for beef steak tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and overall palatability ratings from zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) beef to the processor, retailers, restaurants, and consumers is paramount. Consumer palatability responses were studied for 14- and 21-d aged USDA Choice and USDA Select quality grade beef and USDA Choice calffed Holstein New York Strip steaks from cattle that had been fed ZH for 0, 20, and 30 d before slaughter. Strip loins were cut into 2.54-cm-thick New York strip steaks and assigned to a 14- or 21-d aging treatment. The first and fourth steaks were assigned for 14- or 21-d WBSF analysis, and the second, third, fifth, and sixth steaks were reserved for consumer sensory panel evaluation. Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) analysis was conducted at Texas Tech University (TTU, Lubbock), Kansas State University (Manhattan), Oklahoma State University (Stillwater), and West Texas A&M University (Canyon) with values used to sort steaks for consumer evaluation. Slice shear force analysis was performed at TTU on available paired consumer steaks. Consumers (n = 3,007) in 4 metropolitan areas (Baltimore, MD/ Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and Lubbock, TX) were asked to rate tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and overall acceptability. Consumers were selected to represent a wide range of income, education, and ethnicity at each city. Steaks were cooked to a medium degree of doneness (71°C), cut into 1 cm3 pieces, and served warm to consumers. Consumers tasted samples from each of 3 separate steaks from each ZH treatment (0, 20, and 30 d) and within each USDA quality grade and within the 14- and 21-d aging treatments. Steaks were selected to represent the distribution of tenderness for the first, second, and third SD either side of the mean for each treatment. A second calf-fed Holstein consumer study (n = 240) was conducted with consumers eating USDA Choice 14- and 21-d aged steaks from Holstein cattle fed ZH for 0 or 20 d. Steaks from 0- and 20-d ZH treatments were different for tenderness for the 14-d aged USDA Choice and the calf-fed Holstein study groups. No differences were shown for all other 0-and 20-d ZH treatments for tenderness. The 21-d aged USDA Select steaks were improved with aging, which aided in removing the effects of ZH treatment. The ZH treatment of 30 d before slaughter resulted in increased WBSF values and decreased consumer tenderness, juiciness, and overall palatability ratings for 14-d-aged USDA Choice. No differences were shown for tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and overall palatability consumer ratings for 0- and 20-d steaks from 21-d Choice and 14- and 21-d Select quality and aging periods. Overall, USDA Choice Holstein steaks aged 14 and 21 d had differences in tenderness with ZH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3712-3721
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Beef
  • Consumer
  • Dairy
  • Palatability
  • Zilpaterol hydrochloride


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