Skip to main content Accessibility help

Blood profile and meat quality of Holstein-Friesian steers finished on total mixed ration or flaxseed oil-supplemented pellet mixed with reed canary grass haylage

  • D. T. Utama (a1), S. G. Lee (a1), K. H. Baek (a1), W. S. Chung (a2), I. A. Chung (a2), D. I. Kim (a3), G. Y. Kim (a1) and S. K. Lee (a1)...


Holstein-Friesian steer beef production is renowned globally as a secondary product of the milk industry. Grass feeding is a common practice in raising Holstein steers because of its low cost. Furthermore, grass feeding is an alternative way to produce beef with a balanced n-6 to n-3 fatty acids (FAs) ratio. However, the performance and meat quality of Holstein-Friesian cattle is more likely to depend on a high-quality diet. The aim of this study was to observe whether feeding two mixed diets; a corn-based total mixed ration (TMR) with winter ryegrass (Lolium perenne) or flaxseed oil-supplemented pellets with reed canary grass haylage (n-3 mix) provided benefits on carcass weight, meat quality and FA composition compared with cattle fed with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) haylage alone. In all, 15 21-month-old Holstein-Friesian steers were randomly assigned to three group pens, were allowed free access to water and were fed different experimental diets for 150 days. Blood samples were taken a week before slaughter. Carcass weight and meat quality were evaluated after slaughter. Plasma lipid levels and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), creatine kinase (CK) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were determined. Diet did not affect plasma triglyceride levels and GGT activity. Plasma cholesterol levels, including low-density and high-density lipoproteins, were higher in both mixed-diet groups than in the haylae group. The highest activities of plasma AST, CK and ALP were observed in the haylage group, followed by n-3 mix and TMR groups, respectively. Carcass weight was lower in the haylage group than in the other groups and no differences were found between the TMR and n-3 mix groups. Although the n-3 mix-fed and haylage-fed beef provided lower n-6 to n-3 FAs ratio than TMR-fed beef, the roasted beef obtained from the TMR group was more acceptable with better overall meat physicochemical properties and sensory scores. According to daily cost, carcass weight and n-6 to n-3 FAs ratio, the finishing diet containing flaxseed oil-supplemented pellets and reed canary grass haylage at the as-fed ratio of 40 : 60 could be beneficial for the production of n-3-enriched beef.


Corresponding author



Hide All
Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) 1995. Official methods of analysis, 16th edition. AOAC, Washington, DC, USA.
Apaoblaza, A, Matarneh, SK, England, EM, Scheffler, TL, Duckett, SK and Gerrard, DE 2016. 135 grass fed or dark, firm, and dry? Journal of Animal Science 94, 63.
Bessa, RJ, Alves, SP and Santos-Silva, J 2015. Constrains and potentials for the nutritional modulation of the fatty acid composition of ruminant meat. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 117, 13251344.
Bonanome, A and Grundy, SM 1988. Effect of dietary stearic acid on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels. New England Journal of Medicine 318, 12441248.
Cho, SH, Kim, J, Park, BY, Seong, PN, Kang, GH, Kim, JH, Jung, SG, Im, SK and Kim, DH 2010. Assessment of meat quality properties and development of a palatability prediction model for Korean Hanwoo steer beef. Meat Science 86, 236242.
Chung, I, Jeon, JT and Chung, W 2016. Effects of grass and flaxseed oil on weight gain and microbiological characteristics of feces of Friesian-Holsteins. Annals of Animal Resource Sciences 27, 2736.
Clark, EM, Mahoney, AW and Carpenter, CE 1997. Heme and total iron in ready-to-eat chicken. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 45, 124126.
Duckett, SK, Neel, JPS, Lewis, RM, Fontenot, JP and Clapham, WM 2013. Effects of forage species or concentrate finishing on animal performance, carcass and meat quality. Journal of Animal Science 91, 14541467.
Folch, JM, Lee, M and Sloane-Stanley, GH 1957. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. Journal of Biological Chemistry 226, 497514.
Fortin, M, Julien, P, Couture, Y, Dubreuil, P, Chouinard, PY, Latulippe, C, Davis, TA and Thivierge, MC 2010. Regulation of glucose and protein metabolism in growing steers by long-chain n-3 fatty acids in muscle membrane phospholipids is dose-dependent. Animal 4, 89101.
Gareett, W 1971. Energetic efficiency of beef and dairy steers. Journal of Animal Science 32, 451456.
Givens, DI, Khem, KE and Gibs, RA 2006. The role of meat as a source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the human diet. Meat Science 74, 209218.
Harris, WS 2007. International recommendations for consumption of long-chain n-3 fatty acids. Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 8, 5052.
Hornsey, HC 1956. The colour of cooked cured pork. I. Estimation of the nitric oxide-haem pigments. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 7, 534540.
Jeong, D, Oh, M, Seong, P, Cho, S, Kang, G, Kim, J, Jeong, S, Lee, S and Park, B 2012. Comparison of meat quality traits, free amino acid and fatty acid on longissimus lumborum muscles from Hanwoo, Holstein and Angus steers, fattened in Korea. Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources 32, 591597.
Kim, IH and Suh, GH 2003. Effect of the amount of body condition loss from the dry to near calving periods on the subsequent body condition change, occurrence of postpartum diseases, metabolic parameters and reproductive performance in Holstein dairy cows. Theriogenology 60, 14451456.
Korea Institute for Animal Products Quality Evaluation 2011. The beef carcass grading. Retrieved on 21 June 2016 from
Kristensen, L and Purslow, PP 2001. The effect of ageing on the water-holding capacity of pork: role of cytoskeletal proteins. Meat Science 58, 1723.
Leheska, JM, Thompson, LD, Howe, JC, Hentges, E, Boyce, J, Brooks, JC, Shriver, B, Hoover, L and Miller, MF 2008. Effects of conventional and grass-feeding systems on the nutrient composition of beef. Journal of Animal Science 8, 35753685.
Lozier, J, Rayburn, E and Shaw, J 2005. Growing and selling pasture-finishing beef: results of a nationwide survey. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 25, 93112.
Moloney, AP, Mooney, MT, Kerry, JP and Troy, DJ 2001. Producing tender and flavorsome beef with enhanced nutritional characteristics. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 60, 221229.
Panjono, , Kang, SM, Lee, IS and Lee, SK 2009. Carcass characteristics of Hanwoo (Korean cattle) from different sex conditions, raising altitudes and slaughter seasons. Livestock Science 123, 283287.
Plourde, M and Cunnane, SC 2007. Extremely limited synthesis of long chain polyunsaturates in adults: implications for their dietary essentiality and use as supplements. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 32, 619634.
Priolo, A, Micol, D and Gabriel, J 2001. Effects of grass feeding systems on ruminant meat colour and flavor: a review. Animal Research 50, 185200.
Realini, CE, Duckett, SK, Brito, GW, Rizza, MD and Mattos, DD 2004. Effect of pasture vs. concentrate feeding with or without antioxidants on carcass characteristics, fatty acid composition, and quality of Uruguayan beef. Meat Science 66, 567577.
Sato, R, Onda, K, Kato, H, Ochiai, H, Kawai, K, Iriki, T, Kaneko, K, Yamazaki, Y and Wada, Y 2013. An evaluation of the effect of age and the peri-parturient period on bone metabolism in dairy cows as measured by serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase activity and urinary deoxypyridinoline concentration. The Veterinary Journal 197, 358362.
Scollan, ND, Choi, NJ, Kurt, E, Fisher, AV, Enser, M and Wood, JD 2001. Manipulating the fatty acid composition of muscle and adipose tissue in beef cattle. British Journal of Nutrition 85, 115124.
Simopoulos, AP 2004. N-6/n-3 essential fatty acid ratio and chronic diseases. Food Reviews International 20, 7790.
Tansawat, R, Maughan, CAJ, Ward, RE, Martini, S and Cornforth, DP 2013. Chemical characterisation of pasture- and grain-fed beef related to meat quality and flavour attributes. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 48, 484495.
Varela, A, Oliete, B, Moreno, T, Portela, C, Monserrat, L, Carballo, JA and Sánchez, L 2004. Effect of pasture finishing on the meat characteristics and intramuscular fatty acid profile of steers of the Rubia Gallega breed. Meat Science 67, 515522.
Wood, JD, Enser, M, Fisher, AV, Nute, GR, Sheard, PR, Richardson, RI, Hughes, SI and Whittington, FM 2008. Fat deposition, fatty acid composition and meat quality: a review. Meat Science 78, 343358.
Zock, PL, de Vries, JH and Katan, MB 1994. Impact of myristic acid versus palmitic acid on serum lipid and lipoprotein levels in healthy women and men. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis Vascular Biology 14, 567575.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 1751-7311
  • EISSN: 1751-732X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed