Secondary sexual development (Masculinity) of bovine males: 2. Influence on certain meat quality characteristics

Pietersen T. ; Bruwer G.G. ; Smit M.C. ; Bok W. ; Naude R.T. ; Vosloo W.A. (1992)


Differences in meat quality traits between bulls with secondary sexual development (bulls(+), n = 10), those without this development (bulls(-), n = 10) and steers (n = 10) were investigated. All animals had no permanent incisors (A-age group). Significant differences (P < 0·05) between bulls(+) and bulls(-) were found for the cooking loss percentage of the M. splenius (27·83% versus 31·11%, respectively), iron content of the M. splenius (56·02μg/g versus 49·43μg/g, respectively) and total collagen content of the M. splenius (3·74 versus 4·73 measured as Hyp N/Tot N x 1000, respectively). Drip loss of the wingrib cut (4·01% versus 5·18%, respectively) was also significantly different between bulls(+) and bulls(-). For the M. longissimus thoracis, no significant (P < 0·05) differences in any of the quality-indicating parameters investigated could be found. It is concluded that the M. splenius can be used as an indicator muscle for masculinity, based on meat quality attributes. This is supported by the correlation coefficients obtained between masculinity and the intramuscular collagen content of the M. splenius (r = -0·55) and the iron content of the M. splenius (r = 0·46). For all the other quality attributes investigated, non-significant (P > 0·05) differences between the three sex condition groups were found. It is concluded that the influence of masculinity on meat quality traits of young bulls is of little practical importance in a classification and grading system. © 1992.

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