Effects of growth implants on consumer perceptions of meat tenderness in beef steers
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Anabolic steroid implants are routinely used to increase growth performance and profitability; however, there are concerns that the use of implants, particularly those containing trenbolone acetate, may have detrimental effects on carcass quality and beef tenderness. Thus, the objectives of the current study were to determine the effects of various commonly used implant regimens on shear force values, sensory properties, and consumer satisfaction of beef top loin steaks from cattle of Bos indicus influence. Cattle were supplied by producers that agreed to provide sire and dam information in exchange for carcass and sensory data. Steers (n = 2,748) were assigned randomly to one of three implant treatments (12/sire; four steers from each sire were placed into each treatment group): 1) unimplanted controls (n = 1,368); 2) Synovex-S followed by another Synovex-S (n = 660); or 3) Synovex-S followed by Revalor-S (n = 720). Steaks sampled after 3, 7, and 14 d of aging indicated that unimplanted cattle had lower (P < 0.05) Warner-Bratzler Shear force values than those from implanted animals. No differences (P > 0.05) in shear force values were found between the two treatments or the control groups for steaks sampled following a 21-d aging period. Steaks from implanted animals sampled after 3, 7, and 14 d aging were rated lower (P < 0.05) for initial and sustained trained sensory panel tenderness scores. Consumers failed to detect any differences in steak samples related to implant treatment after 7 and 14 d of aging. Consumer education level and family income did not affect overall acceptability (P > 0.10 and 0.18, respectively) or tenderness acceptability (P > 0.11 and 0.68, respectively); however, consumers with postgraduate degrees recorded lower (P < 0.05) overall quality, beef flavor, juiciness, and tenderness scores than consumers in all other education classifications. Additionally, family income had no effect on overall quality (P > 0.21), beef flavor (P > 0.28), juiciness (P > 0.58), or tenderness (P > 0.45) scores. Results indicate that using a moderate implant program in Bos indicus-influenced cattle has no detrimental effects on beef tenderness and consumer acceptability. © 2003 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.
author list (cited authors)
Barham, B. L., Brooks, J. C., Blanton, J. R., Herring, A. D., Carr, M. A., Kerth, C. R., & Miller, M. F.