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Meat Sci. 2000 Sep;56(1):41-7.

Relationship between fat depots in carcasses of beef bulls and effect on meat colour and tenderness.

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Agricultural Research Centre - Ghent, Department Animal Nutrition and Husbandry, Scheldeweg 68, B9090 Melle-Gontrode, Belgium.


Four hundred and thirty-three double-muscled and two hundred and two non-double-muscled Belgian Blue bulls, with mean cold carcass weights of 470±27 and 414±33 kg, respectively, were studied to investigate the relationships between the SEUROP fat grade, the anatomical fat content in the carcass (adipose tissue) and the chemical fat content in the Longissimus thoracis. The relationships between the shear force value and the lightness of the meat and fat characteristics were also studied. A moderate correlation was found between the fat characteristics within each data set with correlation coefficients, ranging from 0.4 to 0.6. The correlation coefficients increased to 0.70-0.85 when the data sets were pooled. Fat characteristics of the carcass and meat showed only limited predictive power (R(2)<0.15) for meat tenderness and colour. This study also shows that double-muscled animals belong to a sub-population of the Belgian Blue breed rather than deviants from the non-double-muscled animal.


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