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Sire effects on carcass and meat quality traits of young Nellore bulls

Author(s): M.N. Bonin, J.B.S. Ferraz, J.P. Eler, F.M. Rezende, D.C. Cucco, M.E. Carvalho, R.C.G. Silva, R.C. Gomes and E.C.M. Oliveira

Meat quality is being increasingly demanded by consumers in recent years. Several factors can affect meat quality, ranging from animal traits such as breed and genetic heritage to pre- and post-slaughter processes. This study investigated the influence of Nellore bulls on carcass and meat quality traits. We used 475 young uncastrated males, the progeny of 54 bulls, to evaluate characteristics of the following carcass traits: hot carcass weight, rib-eye area, and fat thickness. We also evaluated the following beef quality traits: marbling, color, drip loss, cooking loss, and shear force at 0, 7, and 14 days of aging. Bulls had a significant influence (P ≤ 0.05) on rib-eye area, fat thickness, marbling, drip loss at 14 days of aging and color at all aging periods. Based on these results, the use of bulls with high breeding values for these traits can provide important advances in carcass traits and meat quality in breeding programs of Nellore cattle that are raised in tropical conditions.