A Comparative Study of Quality Characteristics in Grass and Grain-Fed Beef
AuthorDalMolin, Tyler E.
AdvisorMarchello, John A.
Marchello, Elaine V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA study was conducted to evaluate the quality characteristics in a comparative manner of grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Thirty two commercially bred beef steers were used. These steers were assigned to one of four treatments; grain-fed, grass/grain-fed, grass-fed and irrigated. These treatments were each reflective of the ration that would be provided to the animal. Individual animal weights were recorded every 28 days throughout the portion of the study. The grain-fed animals realized the highest (P<0.05) average daily gain with the grass-fed and irrigated having the lowest. The steers were harvested when they reached the pre-determined criteria, which was 0.4 inch back fat as measured at the 12th rib via ultrasonography, for the grain-fed or 800 pounds for the grass-fed animals. All animals, once harvested, were graded based upon USDA quality grades with results mirroring those previously mentioned. Carcasses were involved in an aging study in which all left sides of the carcasses were fabricated into primal cuts, vacuumed packaged and aged for 14 days while the right sides were dry aged during the same period. Shear force data were collected to provide for a measure of tenderness. All samples were significantly (P<0.05) more tender following aging with no difference being realized between aging techniques. Percent cutout was also calculated for the two techniques to quantify what difference, if any, existed. No significant difference (P>0.05) was shown between wet and dry aging with regard to percent cutout. Sensory evaluation was also conducted based upon the attributes of juiciness, tenderness and flavor intensity. For all three attributes grain-fed beef was favored (P<0.05). The panelists detected no difference in aging technique for any of the treatments (P>0.05).Carcass soft tissue chemical composition (lipid, protein and moisture) was also evaluated for the treatments. Grain-fed beef was shown to be highest (P<0.05) for overall percent lipid and lowest for percent moisture and protein. The grass-fed carcasses were the opposite, being highest for overall moisture and protein and lowest for lipid (P<0.05).
Degree ProgramGraduate College