Effects of Feeding and Maturation System on Qualitative Characteristics of Buffalo Meat ( Bubalus bubalis)

Animals (Basel). 2020 May 21;10(5):899. doi: 10.3390/ani10050899.

Abstract

We aimed to evaluate the effects of post dry ageing (PDA) period on meat colour and rheological characteristics in 16 buffalo bulls fed two different diets: with (FRS) or without (CTL) rye grass. Animals were randomly divided into two feeding groups and slaughtered at 540 ± 4.7 and 533 ± 7.0 kg of live body weight, respectively, for the CTL and FRS group. After five days post-mortem ageing (T0), Semitendinosus muscle (ST) and Longissimus muscle (LD) underwent a prolonged maturation process in a controlled meat chamber for 30 days (ST) and until 60 days (LD). After 30 days (T1), significant changes (p < 0.01) in meat colour (ΔE) in both muscles of the FRS group was recorded, while no significant change was observed in CTL group. The FRS diet had a positive effect on textural properties of ST muscle compared to CTL diet, as well as hardness, chewiness and gumminess. All qualitative characteristics improved in the first period of PDA but, whereas LD showed to keep improving, extending the post-ageing period by further 30 days, the ST becomes un-processable at 60 days. In conclusion, a combined used of fresh feeding and PDA period could enhance both tenderness and colour in animal fed FSR.

Keywords: colour; feeding; meat quality; post-ageing process.