U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report (1988) No. 3: 34-35


Currently there is increased emphasis on production of lean beef with desirable palatability characteristics. Changes in both the type of animal produced and the feeding and management of these animals may be needed to efficiently produce this product. One change in feeding that could be made is the energy density of the feed, measured as megacalories of metabolizable energy per pound (Mcal ME/lb). At low energy densities, the amount of feed that can be consumed limits the animal's intake of metabolizable energy.

Over the past two decades, several experiments at U.S. Meat Animal Research Center have examined a number of factors, including energy density, that can affect carcass composition and palatability. The purpose of this report is to review these experiments and summarize the effects of energy density on carcass composition and palatability traits.