Cattlemen's Day, 2003; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution; no. 03-272-S; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 908; Beef; Warner-Bratzler shear force; Steaks


Carcass data and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) data on strip loin steaks were collected from nearly 8,500 cattle in contemporary groups of progeny from the more popular sires in 14 different beef cattle breeds in the Carcass Merit Traits project funded by Beef Checkoff dollars, the breed associations, and MMI Genomics. In addition, trained sensory panel evaluations were conducted on over 2,500 strip loin steaks from contemporary groups of progeny from five sires included in the DNA marker validation component of the project. The correlation between WBSF and tenderness scored by the trained sensory panel was -0.82, indicating that as WBSF increased, tenderness scored by the sensory panel decreased. Our results showed that a WBSF value of ≥11.0 lb generally results in a sensory score of slightly tough or tougher. In this study, 22.8% of the cattle had WBSF values ≥11.0 lb and 26.3% had sensory scores of slightly tough or tougher. The phenotypic range of WBSF means for sires within breeds ranged from 1.9 to 6.6 lb. The phenotypic range of WBSF means across breeds was 8.9 lb, whereas the range among sires across breeds was a dramatic 14.4 lb. The phenotypic range for flavor intensity scores among sires within and across breeds was much smaller than for tenderness, with juiciness scores being intermediate. The 40 widely used sires that produced progeny with steaks that were unacceptable in tenderness in this study might be expected to be sires of several thousand bulls used in commercial herds. This demonstrates that seedstock producers should aggressively utilize sires that have genetics for tender meat.


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