Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2004


Published in 2004 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2003 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


About 43% of the meat from cow carcasses is sold into the boxed beef trade. This research was conducted to compare muscles from beef and dairy cows in an effort to identify optimal uses for cow muscles. Twenty-one muscles from beef and dairy cow carcasses were analyzed for objective color, total heme-iron, total collagen, pH, expressible moisture and proximate composition. Wide variation was observed for all properties measured. Effects of breed type on all measured traits were minimal except in the case of percent moisture. These results indicate muscles from beef and dairy cows are similar in chemical and physical properties. Opportunities exist to upgrade the value of selected cow muscles.