The aim of future beef production is healthier, tastier products which consumers will find attractive. Combinations of breed and feeding system are required to fulfil these aims. In this project we compared the Holstein- Friesian (HF) breed, an allegedly inferior beef producer, with Welsh Black (WB), a traditional beef breed. Of particular interest was the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in flavour development.
Thirty six steers, 18 HF and 18 WB, were reared on grass silage plus one of three concentrates. The concentrates contained different fat sources at 0.03 of intake: 1. megalac (control, C16:0); 2. formaldehyde-protected whole linseed (Lin, C18:3 n-3); and 3. an equal mix on a fat basis of protected linseed and fish oil (Lin/fish, C20:5 and C22:6 n-3). The animals were slaughtered after 90 days consumption of the diets. Fortyeight hours after slaughter, three forequarter muscles (M. supraspinatus, M. infraspinatus and M. triceps brachii caput longum) were trimmed of fat, minced and displayed in modified atmosphere packs (0.8 02:0.2 CO2, 4°C in 1000 Lux) for 3 or 10 days.