Effect of vitamin D3, zilpaterol hydrochloride supplementation, and postmortem aging on shear force measurements of three muscles in finishing beef steers

S. M. Knobel-Graves, J. C. Brooks, B. J. Johnson, J. D. Starkey, J. L. Beckett, J. M. Hodgen, J. P. Hutcheson, M. N. Streeter, C. L. Thomas, R. J. Rathmann, A. J. Garmyn, M. F. Miller

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Vitamin D3 (D3) supplementation may be used to increase tenderness in beef from cattle fed zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH). The study was arranged as a 2 × 2 factorial with fixed effects of ZH (no ZH or ZH fed at 8.3 mg/kg DM for 20 d with a 3-d withdrawal) and D3 (no D3 or 500,000 IU D3·steer−1·d−1 for 10 d prior to harvest). Cattle (n = 466) were harvested in 2 blocks on the basis of BW with subsequent collection of carcass data. Full loins and inside rounds (n = 144 of each subprimal) were collected for fabrication of 5 steaks from the longissimus lumborum (LL), gluteus medius (GM), and semimembranosus (SM), which were aged for 7, 14, 21, 28, or 35 d. Warner- Bratzler shear force (WBSF) was used to evaluate mechanical tenderness of LL, GM, and SM steaks at all aging periods. Slice shear force (SSF) analysis was conducted on only 14- and 21-d LL steaks. No interactions (P > 0.05) between ZH and D3 occurred throughout the entire study. Supplementing ZH resulted in increased HCW (P < 0.01), larger LM area (P < 0.01), and improved calculated yield grades (P < 0.01) with decreases in fat thickness (P = 0.02) and marbling scores (P = 0.05). Supplementation with D3 increased calculated yield grade (P < 0.01) and decreased (P = 0.01) rib eye area. Feeding ZH increased (P ≤ 0.05) WBSF of LL steaks at each postmortem age interval, whereas D3 had no effect (P > 0.05) on WBSF or SSF of LL steaks. Like for WBSF, ZH supplementation increased SSF values at 14 and 21 d postmortem (P < 0.01) compared with those for non-ZH steaks. There was an interaction between ZH and postmortem age (P < 0.01) for WBSF of LL steaks. At 7 d LL steaks from ZH steers sheared over 0.6 kg greater than non-ZH steaks; however, by 21 d this difference was reduced to an average of 0.2 kg. Differences in distribution between LL steaks below 3.0 kg from non-ZH and ZH-fed cattle were also notable (P ≤ 0.05) through 21 d of aging. At 35 d postmortem a high proportion of LL steaks (68.5%) from ZH-fed steers required less than 3.0 kg to shear. Supplementation with ZH and D3 had no impact (P > 0.05) on WBSF values of GM steaks. Feeding ZH did not alter WBSF of SM steaks, but at 28 d D3 increased (P = 0.04) WBSF values. Shear force in ZH steaks was not effectively reduced by feeding D3 for 10 d to steers prior to harvest. Aging, however, was an effective method of reducing initially greater shear force values in LL steaks and, to a lesser degree, GM steaks from ZH-fed cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2637-2647
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Beef
  • Shear force
  • Tenderness
  • Vitamin D
  • Zilpaterol


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