Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2005


Published in 2005 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2004 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Some muscles from the different populations of cows evaluated have similar chemical and physical properties to muscles from A-maturity, USDA Select grade cattle. Perhaps those muscles from cows could be utilized in a manner that would increase their value. Fifteen carcasses were selected from five populations (fed beef cows, non-fed beef cows, fed dairy cows, non-fed dairy cows, and Select grade beef) and nine muscles per carcass were characterized. Most muscles from cows were darker in color, had higher pH values, and had greater heme iron content than muscles from younger cattle, which may be undesirable to consumers. Supplemental technology may be needed to upgrade muscles from cow carcasses.