Muscle fiber characteristics and their relationship to water holding capacity of Longissimus dorsi muscle in Brahman and Charolais crossbred bulls
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Muscle fiber characteristics and their relationship to water-holding capacity of longissimus dorsi (ld) muscle were studied in Brahman (BRA) and Charolais (CHA) crossbred bulls fattened under practical farm conditions. Thirty-four BRA and 34 CHA bulls were randomly selected and slaughtered at 500, 550 and 600 kg live weight. Parameters of water-holding capacity such as drip, ageing, thawing, cooking and grilling loss were determined. Muscle fiber characteristics were conducted for muscle fiber type percentage and cross-sectional areas of slow- and fast-twitch fiber types, and correlation coefficients to water-holding capacity parameters were calculated. Results showed that CHA meat had a better water-holding capacity (less ageing, thawing and grilling loss) when compared with BRA, whereas slaughter weights had no significant effects on these parameters. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between genotypes and slaughter weights in muscle fiber type percentage and cross-sectional areas of ld muscle. Slow- and fast-twitch fiber types of all experimental groups averaged 24.4 and 75.6%, respectively. Cross-sectional areas of fast-twitch fibers had almost twice the size of slow-twitch fibers (6,721 and 3,713 m2, respectively). The correlation between muscle fiber area and water-holding capacity indicated that muscles with larger fiber areas had a lower drip and ageing loss but a higher cooking and grilling loss.
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