The objective of these studies was to evaluate the effects of zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH), fed for 0, 20, or 30 d, on meat quality attributes of calf-fed Holstein steers. Steers were slaughtered at a commercial facility, and carcasses were selected by HCW to represent the pen mean. Further carcass selection was based on quality grade (Choice and Select) and yield grade. Proximate composition, measures of water holding capacity, and tenderness using Warner-Bratzler shear force after 7, 14, or 21 d postmortem were evaluated on the shoulder clod (triceps brachii), top butt (gluteus medius), and strip loin (longissimus lumborum). Percentage of purge for the 3 subprimals was not different (P > 0.05) among ZH treatments. Steers fed ZH for 20 d or 30 d had decreased (P < 0.05) percentages of fat in the triceps brachii, compared with 0-d ZH. Percentage of fat was less (P < 0.05) in the gluteus medius and longissimus lumborum when steers were fed ZH for 30 d compared with those steers fed ZH for 0 d. Percentage of fat was greater in Choice triceps brachii (P < 0.05) and longissimus lumborum (P < 0.10) compared with Select. Thaw loss was not different (P > 0.05) for any muscle due to ZH treatment. Only longissimus had a greater (P < 0.05) cooking loss with ZH treatment. Cooking loss was not different (P > 0.05) for the gluteus medius or longissimus lumborum due to quality grade or aging day. At each aging day, the 20- and 30-d ZH longissimus lumborum had greater (P < 0.05) shear force values than 0 d; however, 20- and 30-d ZH had a greater absolute change in shear force from 7 to 21 d than that of 0 d ZH. Triceps brachii steaks were less tender (P < 0.05) after ZH treatment, but gluteus medius steaks were not different (P > 0.05). There was no difference (P > 0.05) in shear force due to quality grade. Results illustrate the use of ZH in calf-fed Holstein steers will have minimal effects on purge, thaw, or cooking loss. Percentage of intramuscular fat will decrease, especially when fed for longer durations. Steaks from ZH treated steers were tougher than steaks from control animals at all aging times, but ZH steaks became more tender with postmortem aging.


Animal Sciences



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