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Variation in meat quality characteristics between Sanga (Bos taurus africanus) and Sanga-derived cattle breeds and between Sanga and Brahman (Bos indicus)

  • P. E. Strydom (a1), L. Frylinck (a1) and M. F. Smith (a2)


Cattle breeds indigenous to Africa (Sanga) compare favourably to Bos indicus breeds with regard to adaptation to harsh environments. This study compared the meat quality of three Sanga breeds (Nguni, Tuli and Drakensberger), a Sanga-related breed (Bonsmara) and a B. indicus breed (Brahman) and supported these results with biochemical and histological measurements on the M. longissimus lumborum. Twelve young grain-fed steers of each breed were slaughtered and carcasses were electrically stimulated. All Sanga (and related) breeds, with the exception of the Tuli, had lower Warner–Bratzler shear force (SF) values at 2 and 21 days post mortem compared with the BR (P < 0.05). Measurements related to the calcium-dependent protease system and myofibrillar fragmentation explained the bulk of the variation among breeds, whereas variation in fibre type, sarcomere length and connective tissue properties gave less convincing support. With the exception of the Tuli, Sanga and Sanga-related breeds produced more tender (according to SF) meat than BR, mainly due to favourable calpain-to-calpastatin ratios. Small differences in colour, drip loss and cooking properties were found among breeds (P < 0.05).


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Variation in meat quality characteristics between Sanga (Bos taurus africanus) and Sanga-derived cattle breeds and between Sanga and Brahman (Bos indicus)

  • P. E. Strydom (a1), L. Frylinck (a1) and M. F. Smith (a2)


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