This research aimed to evaluate the effects of the beta-agonist zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) on carcass traits, subprimal yield, meat quality, palatability traits, and gene expression in Nellore heifers. Zilpaterol increased Longissimus lumborum area and did not change back fat thickness, meat color, and cooking loss. Heifers fed ZH had greater hindquarter weight and carcass percentage. Muscles from hindquarter were heavier for animals fed ZH. Forequarter (% of carcass) decreased and brisket did not change with ZH supplementation. There were no differences between treatments for steak aroma, beef flavor, and off-flavor. However, tenderness and juiciness were reduced by ZH, depending on postmortem aging. Zilpaterol increased Calpain-1, Calpain-2, and calpastatin mRNA expression, with no effect of day of slaughter or ZH×Day interaction. In conclusion, ZH supplementation improved hypertrophy, meat production, and debone yield in Nellore heifers, which led to decreased tenderness and to increased mRNA expression in the calpain-calpastatin system.
Meat Science – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2016
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