Effect of sex on meat quality characteristics of Qinchuan cattle
AbstractA total of 18 Qinchuan cattle, six intact males (IM), six castrated males (CM) and six females (FM), were used to investigate the effect of sex on the physicochemical characteristics (PCC) and fatty acid (FA) composition of the Longissimus dorsi muscle (LDM). Obvious sex differences were found in the PCC of LDM: the IM group had higher shear value, pH, drip and cooking losses, and contents of ash and hydroxyproline (Hyp) than the CM and FM groups, as well as lower ether extract content and lightness. Both the IM and CM groups had lower water content and higher protein content than the FM group. Sex differences were also observed in contents of C14:0, C14:1, C18:1, saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) between the IM and both the CM and FM groups but not between the CM and FM groups. The results indicated that sex is an important
source of differences in meat quality of Qinchuan cattle because the castration and the meat characteristics of the CM group were more similar to the FM than the IM group.