Different raw beef quality traits from four local Spanish cattle breeds were studied using correlation, factorial, discriminant and multiple regression analysis. The following variables were studied after 0, 5, 10 and 15 days of storage under 60% O2, 30% CO2 and 10% N2 modified atmosphere packaging (MAP): colour physical variables, meat pigments, sensory degradation of odour and colour, microbial counts, thiobarbituric acid (TBA), pH, drip loss, lipid composition and volatile compounds. The degradation of raw beef quality was related to the increase in 2,3,3-trimethylpentane, 2,2,5-trimethylhexane, 3-methyl-2-heptene, 2-octene, 3-octene, 2-propanone, Enterobacteriaceae and aerobial plate counts (APC), metmyoglobin (MMb), lightness (L*), yellowness (b*), drip loss and TBA. Among these variables, TBA, b* and MMb may be useful in evaluating raw beef quality. No variables related to fat, except for TBA, including pH were limiting factors of the colour and odour shelf-life of raw beef under MAP. Each breed had some characteristics that were unique and these differences may influence the stability of meat to oxidation depending on myoglobin concentration and the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)/saturated fatty acid (SFA) ratio.