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Effect of slaughter weight and diet composition of calves on meat and fat quality

AuthorsVieira, Ceferina; García-Cachán, M. D.; Martínez, B.; Cerdeño, Ana Isabel; Mantecón, Ángel R. CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2004
Citation50th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology, Vol. 1 (2004)
AbstractMany consumers in Spain and in other European countries prefer to consume meat from animals slaughtered at an early age, associating it with a healthy product, low amount of visible fat, high juiciness, high tendemess and a good smooth flavour. In fact, in the past, such meat was considered as the highest quality meat. In this sense, the use of local breeds, together with local production systems, could be a basis for establishing standards in order to improve local production and consumer confidence (Shackeldford et al., 2001; Dransfield et al., 2003). However, in order to respond to consumer demands, it is essential to guarantee good quality meats, from a fundamental understanding of links between production factors and meat quality. Several factors, such as age, sex, breed and slaughter conditions, affect carcass and meat characteristics, but also diet is of importance. Most studies published about the effect of diet on calf performance, have been carried out using milk replacers (Beauchemin et al., 1990; Xiccato et al.,2002) and slaughtered at an early age or based on a relatively early weaning age (100-150 days), following an ad libitum diet of concentrate until slaughter (Hinks et al.,1999; Myers et al.,1999a, 1999b; Fluharty et al.,2000). However, the raising of calves on the basis of traditional systems, using whole milk, as unique feed or supplementing a concentrate diet may offer an alternative to the current systems as long as the quality of the final product could be guaranteed. On the other hand, this type of rearing system could also be used for other purpose, for example, in farms in which milk production is largely over the milk quota (Hornick et al., 1996). Owing to the peculiar digestive and metabolic characteristics of young calves, in which the effect of diet composition on body composition is of special importance, it may be assumed that the meat and fat from calves receiving a daily amount of milk until slaughter could show differential characteristics with respect to the meat from calves reared under intensive production systems. So, the aim of the present work was to study the effect of diet composition of calves might have on meat and fat quality.
Description4 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables.-- Contributed to 50th International congress of Meat Science and Technology (Helsinki, Finland, 2004).
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Comunicaciones congresos

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