Physicochemical traits of Holstein loin and top round veal from two slaughter age groups
© Yim et al. 2015
Received: 2 April 2015
Accepted: 2 June 2015
Published: 15 July 2015
The objective of this study was to investigate the physicochemical and microbial quality of loin (m. longissimus dorsi) and top round (m. Semimembranosus) in Holstein veal produced from two slaughter age groups (5 and 8 months of age). A total of 20 Holstein calves were randomly selected from a local cattle farm. The slaughtered cold carcasses were vacuum-packaged. The samples were analyzed for proximate composition and physicochemical analyses and stored for 1, 7, 10, 20 and 30 days for microbiological analyses. Fat and protein contents of loin for the 8 month group were higher than those for the 5 month groups (p < 0.05). For both loin and top round muscles, the pH, cooking loss and the shear force values for the 5 month group was higher than those for the 8 month group (p < 0.05). On the other hands, the water-holding capacity (WHC) for the 8 month group was higher than those for the 5 month group (p < 0.05). In terms of meat color, CIE L* (lightness) for both muscle were higher in the 5 month group than in the 8 month groups. On the other hands, a* (redness) were higher in the 8 month group than in the 5 month groups (p < 0.05). Total aerobic counts in all samples remained up to 30 days at values less than 7 log CFU/g. However, there was no significant difference for both muscles between the two age groups. The results indicate that Holstein muscles from the 8 month group had desirable quality properties than those from the 5 month group.
KeywordsHolstein veal Loin Top round Meat quality Slaughter age
Holstein is the premier dairy breed with a high potential for milk production  and is spread all over South Korea. In Korea, Holstein cattle have introduced and been raised as a domestic stock since 1903 . The statistics indicate that about 45,351 Holstein cow and 70,000 Holstein beef were slaughtered in 2012. The frequencies of quality grading above grade 1 for Holstein steers were only 9.0 % in 2013 . Thus, Holstein beef have been not popular and utilized limitedly because it has inferior palatability characteristics as compared to Hanwoo. Some Holstein dairy farmers tried to produce the highly marbled Holstein steer beef using a longer feeding period, but this was not financially advantageous for them, due to the expensive feeding cost and low feeding efficiency.
Traditionally, veal has been of substantial value associated with a low fat content, and a good flavor to many countries . According to Council Regulation (EC) No 361/2008 of April 14th , veal is described as the meat from unweaned calves that are slaughtered when they are no more than 8 months old. The European Commission differentiates veal as meat derived from calves of 16–19 week of age . Currently, young Holstein bulls have been problematic for a livestock raiser in Korea. The farmers face serious challenges when they have new-born, male veal, given the unstable market price and low valuation of this product in the domestic beef market . Therefore, the farmers found a solution to advance the slaughtering time by veal production. The average slaughtering times of Holstein steer were from 20 to 22 months. The slaughter ages in production of veal were between 5 and 8 months in most of countries . Thus, it needs to compare the meat quality parameters between five and eight age groups. A number of publication have focused on meat quality of Hanwoo, but meat quality attributes of Holstein calves (bulls and steers) born and raised in Korea have rarely been assessed. Especially, very few publications have dealt with the effects of slaughter age on carcass and meat quality of young Holstein bulls. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the physicochemical and microbial quality characteristics of loin (m. longissimus dorsi) and top round (m. Semimembranosus) in Holstein veal produced from two slaughter age groups (5 and 8 months of age).
Animals and sample preparation
Weight and percentage in primal cuts of Holstein veal from two slaughter age
1.3 ± 0.14
2.45 ± 0.64
5.30 ± 0.57
9.50 ± 2.97
1.3 ± 0.14
2.40 ± 1.27
3.55 ± 0.07
6.65 ± 1.77
5.25 ± 0.49
9.05 ± 2.05
5.75 ± 0.78
10.55 ± 2.62
Butt & rump
8.15 ± 0.92
13.95 ± 3.61
5.00 ± 0.28
9.75 ± 3.89
4.45 ± 0.35
7.10 ± 1.41
8.65 ± 0.92
16.1 ± 7.64
Immediately after keeping in a chilling room, samples from each treatment were analyzed for proximate composition. All determinations were carried out on the homogenized samples, in triplicate. Moisture, fat, protein and ash were determined on samples using with a slightly modified method of AOAC .
The pH of samples was determined with a pH meter (PHM201, Radiometer, France). The pH values of samples were measured by blending a 10 g sample with 90 mL distilled water for 1 min in a homogenizer (Ultra-turrax, T25-S1, Germany). The water holding capacity (WHC) was conducted by a modification of the procedure of Grau and Hamm . Briefly, a 300 mg sample of muscle was placed in a filter-press device and compressed for 2 min. WHC was calculated from duplicate samples as a ratio of the meat film area to the total area; hence, a larger value suggests a higher WHC. WHC(%) was calculated as follows: WHC (%) = 100- [total meat area/meat film area × 100]. For cooking loss, after the samples were thawed at 4 °C overnight before analyses and sliced with a thickness of 2 cm. The samples were weighed and cooked in an electric grill (EMG-533, AIJIA electric appliance, China) until they reached a final internal temperature of 70 °C. Cooking loss was determined by the ratio of the difference between raw weight and final cooked weight as follows: Cooking loss (%) = 100 × (raw weight - final cooked weight)/raw weight. Shear force values were measured by the method described by the procedure of Bourne . The samples were prepared a cubic form (30 × 30 × 20 mm) and six cores of 1.27 cm in diameter were drilled parallel to the muscle fiber from each sample. Each core was sheared once with a Warner-Bratzler shear attachment using a texture analyzer (TA-XT2, Stable Micro System Ltd., U.K.). The maximum shear force value (kg) was recorded for each sample. Test and post-test speeds were set at 1.0 mm/s. Color measurements were taken using a Minolta chromameter (CR-410, Minolta Co. Ltd., Japan). CIE L*, a* and b* values were determined with measurements standardized with respect to a white calibration plate (L* = 94.4, a* = 0.313, b* = 0.319) after 30 min blooming at room temperature. Color measurements for each of three replicates, always trying to avoid area with excess fat were taken and the value was recorded.
Samples were subjected to microbiological analysis to monitor the dynamic changes in the populations responsible for the aging of the veal samples and their hygienic quality. The samples (10 g) were homogenized with 90 mL of 0.1 % sterile peptone water using a Stomacher Lab blender (Interscience BagMixers, Hanover, MA, USA) for 2 min and serially diluted with saline solution by 10-fold. Total aerobic plate counts were enumerated on plate count agar (DifcoTM, Laboratories, Detroit, MI, USA) at 37 °C for 48 h. Bacterial counts were expressed as colony forming units per gram of sample (CFU/g).
The experiment had three replications. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed on all the variables measured using the General Linear Model (GLM) procedure of the SAS statistical package . The t-test (p < 0.05) was used to determine differences among the treatment means. Mean values and standard deviations were reported.
Result and discussion
Proximate composition of M. longissimus dorsi and Semimembranosus of Holstein veal with two slaughter age
Month of age
76.46 ± 0.36
75.54 ± 0.64
75.16 ± 0.36
76.16 ± 0.10
0.55 ± 0.04b
0.90 ± 0.39
1.52 ± 0.81a
0.42 ± 0.25
20.93 ± 0.30b
21.36 ± 0.40
22.54 ± 2.37a
21.84 ± 1.45
1.09 ± 0.01
0.99 ± 0.16
1.12 ± 0.08
1.26 ± 0.16
Physicochemical traits of M. longissimus dorsi and Semimembranosus of Holstein veal with two slaughter age
Month of age
5.77 ± 0.26a
5.73 ± 0.10a
5.31 ± 0.71b
5.21 ± 0.52b
29.00 ± 1.58b
33.17 ± 2.84b
44.81 ± 3.07a
47.96 ± 2.73a
Cooking loss (%)
41.07 ± 0.59a
42.12 ± 3.35a
28.68 ± 0.35b
34.26 ± 1.12b
Shear force (kg)
13.26 ± 1.12a
10.40 ± 1.72a
9.35 ± 1.50b
9.61 ± 0.04b
50.44 ± 1.74a
49.67 ± 1.00a
40.96 ± 2.56b
40.56 ± 0.44b
10.21 ± 0.47b
12.15 ± 0.96b
12.58 ± 0.48a
17.76 ± 0.92a
6.41 ± 0.09
5.59 ± 1.69
4.63 ± 3.14
3.87 ± 3.22
As shown in Table 3, the water-holding capacity (WHC) of both muscles for the 8 month group was significantly higher than those for the 5 month group. This is in agreement with previous reports [7, 16] has indicated WHC in Holstein loin muscles increased with older age. On the other hands, Cooking loss and the shear force values of both muscles for the 5 month group was significantly higher than those for the 8 month group. Similar findings were obtained by authors  showing cooking loss decreased with increasing age. Generally, the beef muscle becomes tough with increasing age of the animal, indicating a possible structural change in collagen . However, this is not in agreement with present result. In present study, the higher intramuscular fat for the 8 month group could be a crucial factor for the lower shear force values. Shear force values were negatively related to intramuscular fat content in numerous studies [17–19].
Basically, consumers are believed to assess veal quality on the lean color . For meat color, CIE L* (lightness) of both muscles for the 5 month group were higher than those for the 8 month groups. On the other hands, a* (redness) of both muscles for the 8 month group were higher than those for the 5 month groups (Table 3). This is demonstrated by the findings  that L* decreased with older age, whereas a* increased. Similarly, Tuma et al.  also showed longissimus dorsi steaks were darker red with increasing month of age. Low L* values may be attributed to increased myoglobin and decreased muscle glycogen . Muscle color varies, and anatomical location of the muscle influences most color traits, including pigment content, reflectance, redness, and the rate of meat discoloration . Color was also correlated with the ultimate pH, such that lightness, redness, and reflectance decreased with an increase in the ultimate pH .
Slaughter age affect the proximate composition and physicochemical traits of Holstein veal. The results indicate that the muscles from the 8 month group in Holstein calf had desirable quality properties when compared to the 5 month group. The results of this study will give objective information on the meat quality depending on different age of young Holstein bulls for consumers. Further research should be done to find a better Holstein veal quality in the aspects of functional, sensory, economic and health benefits. The advantages of savings in feed cost should be considered for Holstein farmers, by advancing existing slaughtering age from 20 month to less than 8 month of age. Therefore, the production of Holstein calf beef could contribute to discrimination of Holstein beef from Hanwoo and imported beef in the domestic beef market.
This study was financially supported by the research program from IPET, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of Korea.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
- Jurie C, Picard B, Hocquette JF, Dransfield E, Micol D, Listrat A. Muscle and meat quality characteristics of Holstein and Salers cull cows. Meat Sci. 2007;77:459–66.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Cho SH, Seong PN, Kang GH, Choi SH, Kang SM, Park KM. Physicochemical meat quality and fatty acid compositions of striploin, chuck tender, eye of round muscles from Holstein steer beef slaughtered at different fattening periods. Korean J Food Sci Ani Resour. 2013;33:633–9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Korea Institute for Animal Products Quality Evaluation: Report of business for animal products grading. Korea; 2014.
- Vieira C, Garcia MD, Cerdeno A, Mantecon AR. Effect of diet composition and slaughter weight on animal performance, carcass and meat quality, and fatty acid composition in veal calves. Livest Sci. 2005;93:263–75.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- EU: Council Regulation (EC) No 361/2008 of 14 April 2008 amending Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation). Official J. European Communities (pp. L 121/121-L 121/131);2008.
- Ngapo TM, Gariépy C. Factors affecting the meat quality of veal. J Sci Food Agri. 2006;86:1412–31.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Cho SH, Kang SM, Seong PN, Kang GH, Choi SH, Kwon E. Physico-chemical Meat qualities of loin and top round beef from Holstein calves with different slaughtering ages. Korean J Food Sci Ani Resour. 2014;34:674–82.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- AOAC. Official Methods of Analysis. 17th ed. Gaithersburg, MD: Association of Official Analytical Chemists; 2000.Google Scholar
- Grau R, Hamm R. Eine einfache methode zur bestimmung der wasserbindung in muskel. Naturwissenschaften. 1953;40:29.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bourne MC. Texture profile analysis. Food Technol. 1978;32:72.Google Scholar
- SAS. SAS/STAT Software for PC. Release 6.11. Cary, NC, USA: SAS Institute; 2002.Google Scholar
- Hunsley RE, Vetter RL, Kline EA, Burroughs W. Effects of age and sex on quality, tenderness and collagen content of bovine longissimus muscle. J Anim Sci. 1971;33:933–8.Google Scholar
- Lin-qiang L, Wan-qiang T, Lin-sen Z. Effects of age on quality of beef from Qinchuan cattle carcass. Agr Sci in China. 2011;10:1765–71.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tuma HJ, Henrickson RL, Odell GV, Stephens DF. Variation in the physical and chemical characteristics of the longissimus dorsi muscle from animals differing in age. J Anim Sci. 1963;22:354–7.Google Scholar
- Guignot F, Touraille C, Ouali M, Monin G. Relationships between post-mortem pH changes and some traits of sensory quality in veal. Meat Sci. 1993;37:3133–9.Google Scholar
- Kim DG, Jung KK, Sung SK, Choi CB, Kim SK, Kim DY. Effects of age on the carcass characteristics of Hanwoo and Holstein steers. J Anim Sci Technol. 1996;38:268–74.Google Scholar
- Fiems LO, De Campeneere S, De Smet D, Van de Voorde G, Vanacker JM, Boucque CV. Relationship between fat depots in carcasses of beef bulls and effect on meat colour and tenderness. Meat Sci. 2000;56:41–7.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Park BY, Cho SH, Yoo YM, Kim JH, Lee JM, Joung SK. Effect of intramuscular fat contents on the physicochemical properties of beef longissimus dorsi from Hanwoo. J Anim Sci Technol. 2000;42:189–94.Google Scholar
- Wulf DM, Page JK. Using measurements of muscle color, pH, and electrical impedance to augment the current USDA beef quality grading standards and improve the accuracy and precision if sorting carcasses into palatability groups. J Anim Sci. 2000;78:2595–607.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tuma HJ, Henrickson RL, Stephens DF, Moore R. Influence of marbling and animal age on factors associated with beef quality. J Anim Sci. 1962;21:848–51.Google Scholar
- Priolo A, Micol D, Agabriel J. Effects of grass feeding systems on ruminant meat colour and flavour: a review. Anim Res. 2001;50:185–200.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- MFDS. Korean Food Standards Codex (No. 2011–76) No. 10. General method, 10-3-35:2015.
- Gill CO. Application of preservative packagings to chilled raw meats. Meat Sci Assoc Symp. 1992;7:1–8.Google Scholar
- Johnson BY. Chilled vacuum packed beef. A guide to processing this high quality product for the export market. CSJRO Food Res Q. 1974;34:14–20.Google Scholar
- Dainty RH, Mackey BM. The relationship between the phenotypic properties of bacteria from chill-stored meat and spoilage processes. J Appl Bacteriol. 1992;73:103–14.View ArticleGoogle Scholar