Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cattle fed distiller's grains maintain flavor and tenderness of beef

The availability and use of wet distiller's grains in beef finishing diets continues to increase as the ethanol industry expands, and some Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to determine if that will affect consumers' meat purchases.

While much of the research focus has been on the energy value of the distiller's grains relative to the corn it replaces, recent questions have been posed on how they may affect beef quality, said Dr. Jim MacDonald, AgriLife Research ruminant nutritionist.

The concern is based on the premise that replacing corn, which is primarily starch, with distiller's grains, which has essentially no starch, will reduce blood glucose and negatively impact the marbling of beef cuts, MacDonald said.

MacDonald and others conducted a study funded by the $1-per-head beef checkoff, Texas Beef Council, and a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service and AgriLife Research.

In the study, 54 steers were fed dry-rolled corn or steam-flaked corn-based finishing rations with or without 35 percent wet distiller's grain, he said. The goal was to determine the effects of the corn processing and the inclusion of distiller's grain on marbling attributes, sensory attributes and shelf-life of beef loins.

The final data indicated that feeding 35 percent wet distiller's grains in both of the finishing diets may decrease the shelf-life of beef, but likely will have little impact on beef taste and quality, MacDonald said.

In the study, a single one-inch thick steak was removed from the 13th rib end of the loin from each animal, MacDonald said. The steaks were vacuum-packaged and aged for 14 days prior to freezing.

Sensory analysis was performed at Texas A&M University with trained panelists. The beef was judged for palatability attributes such as juiciness, tenderness and flavor.

"When you add distiller's grains to steam-flaked corn-based diets, it does not negatively affect palatability attributes," MacDonald said. "In fact, our panel found those steaks with distiller's grains to be slightly more tender."

The results indicate that the corn-processing method affects sensory properties of steaks; but while consistent, the differences were minimal, MacDonald said.

Sensory differences also were detected in steaks from steers fed differing levels of dietary wet distiller's grain plus solubles; however, the differences were slight, MacDonald said. It is unknown if the levels detected by expert, trained sensory panelists would be detected by consumers.

Another finding of this study was that distiller's grain byproducts increased the muscle concentration of linoleic acid, said Dr. Stephen Smith, AgriLife Research professor of animal science at Texas A&M University.

Increasing the concentration of linoleic acid in beef makes it more susceptible to producing a warmed-over flavor if it is stored in the refrigerator after cooking, Smith said.

The addition of distiller's grain byproducts to finishing altered the activity of enzymes important in the deposition of marbling fat also, he said. As a result, beef from cattle fed distiller's grain byproducts was higher in saturated and trans-fatty acids, and lower in the monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, than beef from cattle not fed distiller's grains.

Smith said even though palatability attributes were not affected by distiller's grain byproducts, the composition of the beef changed quite a bit.

Steaks from steers fed distiller's grains may be darker in color and were more susceptible to lipid oxidation after five days of storage, MacDonald said.

But incorporation of wet distiller's grains into steam-flaked corn-based diets does not appear to affect beef quality differently than incorporation into dry-rolled corn-based diets, he said.

These results indicate that feeding wet distiller's grains to feedlot cattle may impact the shelf-life of beef, but likely has minimal effects on beef taste and quality, MacDonald said.

Dr. Jim MacDonald | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Steering a fusion plasma toward stability

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>