Calcium-activated tenderization of strip loin, top sirloin, and top round steaks in diverse genotypes of cattle.
Steers of known percentage Brahman (B) and Angus (A) breeding (100% A, n = 6; F1 B x A, n = 6; and 100% B, n = 6) were used to determine the effect of calcium chloride injection on the calpain proteinase system and meat tenderness. The steers were slaughtered in six replications (at either 9 or 14 mm of backfat, determined ultrasonically), with each breed type represented. Calpains and calpastatin activities were measured on fresh, prerigor longissimus muscle samples. Carcass data were collected after a 24-h chill, and the short loin (IMPS #180), top sirloin (IMPS #184), and top round (IMPS #168) were removed from both sides of each carcass. The cuts from the right side were then injected at 5% (wt/wt) with CaCl2 solution (2.2%). Longissimus muscle calpain and calpastatin activities were also measured at 48 h postmortem from the injected and control sides of each carcass. Warner-Bratzler shear force was measured on steaks from the three subprimals aged 1, 2, 5, 15, or 31 d. Marbling scores and USDA quality grades were higher (P<.05) in A than in F1 B x A and B carcasses. Calpastatin activity was higher (P<.05) in muscle from B than in muscle from A and F1 B x A steers, and postmortem storage (O vs 48 h) and CaCl2 injection reduced (P<.05) the activity of the calpains and calpastatin. Strip loin and top sirloin steaks from A and F1 B x A steers were more tender (P<.05) than steaks from B steers; however, top round steak tenderness did not differ (P>.05) across breed type. Calcium injection improved strip loin and top sirloin steak tenderness, but it did not affect top round steak tenderness. Collectively, these data show that CaC12 injection can be used to improve meat tenderness, with similar responses shown in cattle containing 0, 50, and 100% B inheritance. However, even with CaCl2 injection, B steaks are less tender than their A and F1 B x A counterparts.
Pringle, TD; Harrelson, JM; West, RL; Williams, SE; Johnson, DD
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