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Meat Sci. 2014 Jan;96(1):353-60. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.07.021. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Nutritional composition of the meat of Hereford and Braford steers finished on pastures or in a feedlot in southern Brazil.

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Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS, Departamento de Zootecnia, Av. Bento Gonçalves 7712, CEP 91540-000, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Chemical and mineral composition and the intramuscular fatty acid (IMF) profile of the Longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) of 60 purebred Hereford, 1/4 Braford and 3/8 Braford steers finished either in a feedlot or on improved pastures of the Pampa biome were evaluated. Pastures were improved with the introduction of Lolium multiflorum, Trifolium repens, and Lotus corniculatus. On average, beef from pasture-fed steers presented higher concentrations of the fatty acids C18:3n-3 (P<0.001), C20:3n-3 (P=0.035), total n-3 (P<0.001) and lower n-6/n-3 ratio (P<0.001) in the IMF, and higher Mg and lower K content in muscle relative to those finished in the feedlot. C12:0 concentration in IMF was higher (P=0.027) for 3/8 Braford than the purebred Hereford steers, whereas purebred Herefords presented lower C14:1 (P=0.003) and higher C18:0 (P=0.022) concentrations than the two Braford groups. The meat composition of purebred Hereford and Braford steers was not substantially different; however, beef produced exclusively on improved pastures presented higher concentration of components that are considered beneficial to human health, such as n-3 fatty acids, and a lower n-6/n-3 ratio.


Cholesterol; Fatty acids profile; Feedlot; Grazing; Minerals; Omega-3 fatty acids

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