Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation level on the postmortem tenderization of beef from steers

J. L. Montgomery, M. A. Carr, C. R. Kerth, G. G. Hilton, B. P. Price, M. L. Galyean, R. L. Horst, M. F. Miller

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50 Scopus citations


The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of different doses of vitamin D3 (VITD) on beef feedlot performance, plasma and muscle Ca2+, tissue residues, and improvement of Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS) and panel tenderness. A total of 167 steers were fed one of six levels of VITD. The VITD treatments (28 steers/treatment) were 0, 0.5 × 106, 1 × 106, 2.5 × 106, 5 × 106, and 7.5 × 106 IU/ steer daily of VITD fed nine consecutive days before slaughter. Feedlot performance and plasma Ca2+ were measured during the last 21 days on feed. Warner-Bratzler shear force was measured on strip loin and top round steaks at 7, 10, 14, and 21 d postmortem. The VITD treatments of 5 and 7.5 × 106 IU/steer daily decreased (P < 0.05) ADG, and VITD supplementation of 2.5, 5, and 7.5 × 106 IU/steer daily decreased average dry matter feed intake (P < 0.05) at the end of the feeding trial. Plasma Ca2+ increased linearly with VITD treatment (P < 0.01). Calpastatin and calpain activity were not influenced by treatment (P > 0.05), but muscle Ca2+ was increased (P < 0.05) by VITD treatments of 1, 2.5, 5, and 7.5 106 IU/steer daily. Feeding VITD did not influence (P > 0.05) carcass quality or yield traits. Supplementing VITD at levels of 1, 2.5, 5, and 7.5 106 IU/steer daily increased (P < 0.05).VITD concentrations in strip loin and liver samples. Cooking liver decreased VITD concentrations 10 to 28%. Vitamin D3 treatments of 0.5 and 7.5 x 106 IU/d reduced strip loin steak WBS at d 7 (P < 0.05), but VITD treatments did not decrease strip loin steak WBS at any other time postmortem. The VITD treatments of 0.5, 1, and 5 × 106 IU/steer daily decreased top round steak WBS at 7 d, and all VITD treatments decreased 10-d top round steak WBS (P < 0.05). Supplementing steers with 0.5 × 106 IU/steer daily of VITD also decreased (P < 0.05) top round steak WBS at 21 d postmortem compared with controls. Sensory tenderness at 7 d postmortem was increased (P < 0.05) by all VITD treatments in top round steaks, yet strip loin tenderness scores were not affected (P > 0.05) by VITD treatment. Treatment with VITD quadratically decreased (P < 0.05) round WBS. Thus, VITD treatment will effectively improve tenderness when cattle tend to be tough and have no impact on cattle that produce tender beef. Feeding steers 0.5 x 106 IU of VITD daily for 9 d improved tenderness in two muscles without negatively affecting feedlot performance or tissue residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-981
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • Beef
  • Calcium
  • Residues
  • Tenderness
  • Vitamin D


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