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Understanding the formation of the grade B4 Beef in Alberta Open Access


Other title
dark cutting beef
meat science
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Holdstock, Jamie H
Supervisor and department
Bruce, Heather (AFNS)
Examining committee member and department
Okine, Erasmus (AFNS)
Betti, Mirko (AFNS)
Varnhagen, Connie (Psychology)
Aalhus, Jennifer (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Animal Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
One hundred and seventy-nine (179) carcasses were surveyed for Longissimus thoracis (LT; rib eye) muscle pH from a commercial abattoir and results demonstrated that specific pH categories existed within the Canada B4 grade carcass population. About 72% of grade B4 carcasses had a muscle pH range of 6.0 to 7.0 and were categorized as classic dark cutters (CL), 21% of carcasses had a muscle pH range of 5.8 to 6.0 and were categorized as borderline dark cutters (BD), and 6% of carcasses had a muscle pH below 5.8 and were categorized as atypical dark cutters (AT). Carcass sides within the studied grade B4 sub-populations demonstrated reduced weights, but adequate muscling and fat cover. Muscle profiling of 12 muscles showed AT carcasses have potential for value recovery. In conclusion, Results indicate that animals within the AT pH category have sufficient energy ante mortem to produce beef of normal colour.
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