Comparison of shear force tenderness, drip and cooking loss, and ultimate muscle pH of the loin muscle among grass-fed steers of four major beef crosses slaughtered in Namibia
The authors investigated the effects of breed (Brahman, Bonsmara, Simbrah and Simmental crosses) and post-mortem ageing on meat tenderness, purge, cooking loss and ultimate pH of the longissimus muscle under commercial production and slaughter conditions of the Namibian beef export industry. Fifty steers of each breed cross, at an average age of 2½ years and with an average subcutaneous fat cover of 2 mm over the 9th–10th thoracic vertebrae, were included in this study. The Brahman (BRX) differed significantly (P < 0.05) from all other breed crosses in all ageing treatments, recording higher Warner-Bratzler shear force values. The Bonsmara (BNX) steers showed the highest rate of tenderization and maintained this advantage up to day 30 post mortem. Purge and cooking loss increased initially and then tapered off over ageing time. BNX steers recorded the highest cooking loss.
Keywords: beef, breeds, cooking loss, grass-fed, purge, tenderness