Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Chris R. Calkins

Date of this Version



Voegele, H.R. 2016. Effects of feeding field peas on fresh beef quality. University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Thesis.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Chris R. Calkins, Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2016

Copyright 2016 Hope Voegele


The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of field peas during two phases of production (grazing and finishing) on fresh beef quality. A total of 232 crossbred steers and heifers were randomly assigned to one of six dietary treatments in a 3x2 factorial consisting of 3 pasture and 2 finishing supplementations. The pasture phase consisted of 1) no supplement, 2) field peas at 0.5% BW, or 3) dry-rolled corn supplement at 0.5% of BW. The finishing phase consisted of 1) field peas at 20% DM or 2) no field peas. During this two-year study, steers (year 1) and heifers (year 2), strip loin samples were aged for 14 d. Steaks were subject to retail display for a total of 7 d. Analyses included tenderness (WBSF and SSF), objective (L*, a*, and b*) and subjective color, lipid oxidation (TBARS) and fatty acid composition. There were minimal effects due to diet. Dietary treatment had no effect on tenderness (WBSF or SSF) or content of saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids or polyunsaturated fatty acids (p > 0.05). Although there was a significant interaction between pasture and finishing treatments for fatty acid C15:1 (p = 0.0331), the range in values was relative low and no implications from these differences could be identified. Supplementing cattle on pasture with field peas resulted in more C18:2 (p = 0.0381) fatty acids than when cattle were supplemented with corn, while cattle without supplement were intermediate. Meat from cattle finished with field peas had slightly greater lipid oxidation than samples from cattle not receiving field peas during finishing (1.56 vs. 1.44 mg malonaldehyde/kg tissue, respectively; p = 0.0541). Discoloration, L*, and a* displayed a triple interactions for retail display, pasture and finishing diets (p < 0.0001, p = 0.0524 and p = 0.024, respectively). Although these interactions were statistically significant, no consistent patterns could be identified. These data indicate field peas may be used for cattle with minimal negative impact on fresh meat quality.

Advisor: Chris Calkins

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Meat Science Commons