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J Anim Sci. 1995 Oct;73(10):3131-40.

A review of dietary vitamin E supplementation for improvement of beef quality.

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Department of Meat and Animal Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706-1284, USA.


Color is a primary factor used by consumers to judge beef quality, especially freshness. Recent studies indicate that dietary supplementation of vitamin E to beef cattle increases the alpha-tocopherol concentration in muscle and its membranous subcellular fractions. The increased tissue alpha-tocopherol concentration protects not only membranal lipids but also myoglobin from oxidation. This results in delayed onset of discoloration in fresh, ground, and frozen beef and in suppression of lipid rancidity, especially in fresh, ground, and frozen beef and less so in cooked beef. Extension of beef color display life depends on dose level and duration of dietary vitamin E, muscle, and aging period. Cumulative results of experiments conducted to date indicate that beef from animals that receive 500 IU/steer daily of vitamin E for 126 d could assuredly benefit the domestic retail market by extending color display life. Implementation of this technology by the beef industry requires development of a method for rapid determination of alpha-tocopherol concentration in muscle samples collected on the day of harvest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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