Assessment of the quality characteristics of meat is time consuming and, due to the heterogeneity of muscle tissue, is subject to considerable variability. A cheap, fast, accurate and non-destructive method of assessment of meat with the potential to predict subsequent quality, would be useful to the meat industry. Near infra red spectroscopy (NIRS) offers this potential for rapid quality assessment and has been shown to be a valuble tool in the evaluation of a variety of meats (Cozzolino et al 1996)
Twenty beef bulls were selected from a commercial herd. Ten bulls (group US) were fed a standard barley-based ration consisting of (g kg–1 DM) barley, 900; GFS Beef 34 protein pellets, 100. Ten bulls (group S) were fed an identical ration supplemented with α-tocopherol acetate (ATA). The average daily intake of these diets was 10 kg DM head-1 d-1 over 100 days prior to slaughter.