Preliminary study on slaughter and meat quality characteristics of selected strains of Tanzania shorthorn Zebu

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Tanzania Journal of Agricultural Sciences


A study was carried out to assess slaughter characteristics and meat quality of five strains of Tanzanian shorthorn zebu (TSZ): Singida white (SW), Gogo (GG), Iringa red (IR), Maasai (MS) and Mbulu (MB). A total of 50 animals (25 entire bulls and 25 castrates) aged 3-4 years were sampled from five slaughter facilities in Tanzania. Slaughter traits, physicochemical properties and the response of beef from the five strains to post-mortem ageing were assessed. IR strain had the highest (P<0.05) values for estimated slaughter weight (ESW), empty body weight (EBW), hot carcass weight (HCW) and linear carcass measurements while MB strain had the lowest values for these parameters. IR strain was 48, 64, 25 kg heavier than MB in terms of ESW, EBW and HCW, respectively. MB strain had the least (P<0.05) proportion of bone in the carcass with about 3% unit less than the rest of the strains. SW strain had the highest (P<0.05) ultimate pH (5.9) while GG had the lowest (5.6). Meat from the GG strain had higher (P<0.05) values for relative redness (15.9) and yellowness (9.8) than that of other strains. Meat from the GG strain had the highest colour stability with only 0.5 units decrease in a* value even after 14 days of ageing. Meat from SW and GG strains became sufficiently tender (<55 N) just after 7 days of ageing whereas that from IR and MB became only moderately tender (55 – 75 N) even after 14 days of ageing. It is concluded that beef from GG strain is the most suitable for processing into high quality meat products owing to its high relative redness (a*), colour stability, tenderness and low pHu.


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Tanzania Shorthorn Zebu, Strains, Slaughter traits, Meat Quality, Meat ageing