Girard, I., Aalhus, J. L., Basarab, J. A., Larsen, I. L. and Bruce, H. L. 2011. Modification of muscle inherent properties through age at slaughter, growth promotants and breed crosses. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 91: 635-648. A 24 factorial experiment tested the interactions of slaughter age (12-13 or 18-20 mo), growth hormone use, ß-adrenergic agonist (ß-AA) use and breed cross [Hereford-Aberdeen Angus (HAA) or Charolais-Red Angus (CRA)] on the composition, fibre types, and connective tissue characteristics of m. semitendinosus (ST) and m. gluteus medius (GM) from 112 crossbred steers. Muscle weights increased with slaughter age, implantation and CRA genetics (P<0.05), but were not affected by ractopamine hydrochloride (RAC) (P>0.10).Animal age increased fast glycolytic (FG) and decreased fast oxidative glycolytic (FOG) fibre percentages by 7.2 and 6.6%, respectively, in the ST and increased slow oxidative (SO) and FOG fibre areas in both muscles (P<0.05). Cross-sectional areas of all fibre types were increased in the ST with implantation. In the GM, implantation increased SO (3.1%) and reduced FOG (3.2%) fibre percentages, while RAC reduced the SO (3.8%) and increased the FG (6.1%) fibre percentages (P<0.05).Only GM total collagen content increased with slaughter age (P<0.05),but collagen solubility decreased with slaughter age for both muscles (P<0.05). CRA genetics increased FG percentage in the GM of yearling-fed steers and increased moisture and protein and reduced fat contents of both muscles (P<0.05). In the muscles studied, IMP, slaughter age and animal genetics induced greater changes in muscle inherent properties than RAC.
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