Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Animal Science 2002. 80:2872–2878. Copyright © 2002 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Thirty-eight muscles of the beef chuck and round were histochemically stained to characterize fiber-type composition in order to facilitate optimal muscle use in value-added products. Select-grade chucks and rounds (n = 4 each) were chosen to represent two carcass weight classes (250 to 295 kg and 363 to 410 kg) and two yield grades (1 and 3). Muscles were sectioned and stained with a procedure that included a succinate dehydrogenase and an adenosine triphosphatase staining technique. Number and diameter of β-red, α-red, and α-white muscle fibers were used to determine muscle fiber percentage, muscle fiber area, and percent area in each muscle. Weight did not significantly (P > 0.05) affect these muscle fiber-type characteristics, probably because of limited sample numbers. Muscles containing greater than 40% β-red fibers were classified as red; greater than 40% α-white fibers were classified as white. All other muscles were classified as intermediate. Nine of 12 round muscles were white, including semitendinosus, biceps femoris, rectus femoris, adductor, and semimembranosus. The chuck muscles were red (10 of 26), intermediate (9 of 26), and white (7 of 26). These data indicate variable fiber-type composition of most of the muscles of the beef chuck and round. Functional and biochemical traits of each muscle fiber class would be expected to create different processing characteristics, which would influence optimal muscle use in value-added products.