Physical attributes, chemical composition and sensory analysis of three muscles from heifers and bulls of Fleckvieh cattle
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The objective of this study was to compare the effect of sex on meat quality parameters of the meat of bulls and heifers of the Fleckvieh cattle reared and finished under identical nutritional and management conditions and slaughtered at an identical age of 19 months. Physical meat quality measurements, proximate chemical composition and sensory analyses were performed on musculus longissimus lumborum, musculus triceps brachii and musculus rectus abdominis from total 23 bulls and heifers. The evaluation of chemical composition shows that the meat from bulls contained less dry matter and intramuscular fat. Lower shear force values as well as lower total collagen contents and higher soluble collagen proportions were measured in heifer samples. When the three different muscles were compared, it appeared that musculus rectus abdominis exhibited the highest contents of dry matter and intramuscular fat whereas musculus triceps brachii had the highest amount of total collagen and also the highest proportion of soluble collagen. Musculus longissimus lumborum contained the highest proportion of protein, the lowest proportion of total collagen and exhibited the lowest shear force value. Musculus longissimus lumborum was assessed as the tenderest with the most favourable score for fibrosity and chewiness, musculus triceps brachii had the highest score for beef odour intensity and beef flavour intensity and musculus rectus abdominis was scored as the juiciest. With the exception of beef odour intensity, the meat from heifers was assessed by the sensory panel as more favourable for all the remaining sensory characteristics assessed.
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