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Influence of wet ageing on beef quality traits

 

Researchers from the University of Florence, Italy, have published in Animals journal a work where fresh samples of Longissimus thoracis of Charolais (n = 12), Romagnola (n = 15), Limousine (n = 77), and crossbreed (n = 62) animals were evaluated with different storage periods (0, 4, 9, and 14 days). 

Proximate analysis (i.e., pH, humidity, color, free water content, and physical parameters) was performed for each sample. The data obtained were evaluated with a mixed model, setting 5 fixed effects (breed, storage time, animals age, EUROP conformation, number of animal transports) and the animal as random. The results demonstrated that meat quality was affected mainly by the wet ageing period and that the visual and tactile parameters were also found to be susceptible to the storage time. The conservation entailed a decrease in meat humidity and an increase in L* and b* traits; it also led to a decrease in the hardness of the sample, in turn affecting the other texture profile analysis parameters considered. Fixed effects affected in different ways the traits analyzed i.e., pH and humidity changed with breed, as well as with EUROP classification, animals’ age for some TPA parameters, and the number of animal transports for both visual and tactile parameters. 

In conclusion, wet ageing influenced the meat quality, often improving it, confirming how important further research would be to identify precise storage times in relation to the parameters studied. 

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