Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



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2020 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


Steers were fed a diet containing dry rolled corn, steam flaked corn, dry rolled corn with 30% dried distillers grains, or steam flaked corn with 30% dried distillers grains. Strip loins from upper 2/3 Choice and Select- grade carcasses were obtained to evaluate the effects of diet and quality grade on shelf life characteristics. Strip loins were aged for 2, 9, 16, or 23 days. Results suggest that steaks from cattle fed steam flaked corn (with or without dried distillers grains) and from cattle fed dried distillers grains (regardless of corn type) had higher levels of many unsaturated fatty acids, more discoloration, and greater lipid oxidation compared to the dry rolled corn treatments or the no dried distillers grains treatments, respectively. Feeding of dry rolled corn or diets without dried distillers grains maintained red color better during retail display. Choice- grade steaks had significantly higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids like 18:2 and total polyunsaturated fatty acids than Select- grade steaks but did not diff er in color stability or oxidation. These data indicate the longest shelf life will occur when cattle are fed diets containing dry rolled corn (versus steam flaked corn) or without dried distillers grains (versus with dried distillers grains) and that both steam flaked corn and distillers grains have a negative impact on shelf life. Quality grade did not affect color stability.