Effect of gender on growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat and fat quality of calves of Avileña-Negra Ibérica breed fattened under free-range conditions

Argimiro Daza, Ana I. Rey, Celia Lopez-Carrasco, Clemente J. Lopez-Bote


The effect of gender (entire males vs females) on growth performance, carcass traits and meat and fat quality of Avileña-Negra Ibérica calves, fattened under free range conditions and supplemented with concentrate, were investigated. The average daily gain, leg width and thorax depth were higher in males than in females. Carcass conformation score, fore-quarter weight and percentage in carcass were higher in males than in females, whereas dressing percentege, loins and flank percentages in carcass and carcass fatness degree were higher in females than in males. Instrumental colour variables of muscle were not affected by gender at days 1, 3, 7 and 9 of refrigerated storage. In muscle, the L*, a*, b*, chroma, oxymyoglobine and oxymyoglobine/metmyoglobine ratio values observed 9 days after slaughter were lower than those at days 1 and 3 after slaughter. Intramuscular fat percentage of Longissimus thoracis muscle was higher in females than in males. Gender had no effect on α-tocopherol content in intramuscular fat (IMF) from Longissimus thoracis muscle. The omental and IMF of females had lower C18:2 n-6, Σ n-6 and Σ PUFA proportions than those from the males. In IMF C16:1, C18:1 n-9 and Σ MUFA proportions were greater in females than in males. The IMF percentage in Longissimus thoracis affected significantly to its fatty acid composition.


fatty acids; intramuscular fat; meat colour; productive results; sex

Full Text:



Albertí P, Sa-udo C, Olleta JL, Panea B, Lahoz F, 2001. Efecto del peso al sacrifico en el rendimiento cárnico de terneros de siete razas bovinas espa-olas. ITEA 22: 511-513.

Albertí P, Panea B, Sa-udo C, Olleta, JL, Ripoll G, Ertbjerg P, Christensen M, Gigli S, Failla, S, Concetti S et al., 2008. Live weight, body size and carcass characteristics of young bulls of fifteen European breeds. Livest Sci 114: 19-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2007.04.010

Albertí P, Ripoll G, Panea B, Guerrero A, Santolaria P, 2011. Color de la grasa subcutánea y evolución del color de la carne en film y en atmósfera protectora durante el periodo de venta de terneros de raza Gasconne. AIDA XIV Jornadas sobre Producción Animal, Zaragoza (Spain), 17-18 de Mayo. Tomo II, pp: 658-660.

Bligh EG, Dyer WJ, 1959. A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can J Biochem Phys 37: 911-917. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/o59-099

BOE, 2005. Real decreto espa-ol 1201/2005 sobre la protección de los animales utilizados para experimentación y otros fines científicos. Boletín Oficial del Estado 252: 34367-34391.

Bruce HL, Stark JL, Beiken SL, 2004. The effects of finishing diets and postmortem ageing on the eating quality of the M. longissimus thoracis of electrically stimulated Brahman steer carcass. Meat Sci 67: 261-268. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2003.10.014

Bures D, Barton, L, 2012. Growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of bulls and heifers slaughtered at different ages. Czech J Anim Sci 57: 34-43.

Carballo JA, Varela A, Oliete B, Monserrat L, Sánchez, L, 2001. Terneros de clase suprema acogibles a la IGP "Ternera Gallega": Efecto del tiempo de maduración sobre el color de la carne. ITEA 22: 556-558.

Casas E, Cundiff LV, 2006. Postweaning growth and carcass traits in crossbred cattle from Hereford, Angus, Norwegian Red, Swedisd Red and White, Friesian, and Wagyu maternal grandsires. J Anim Sci 84: 305-310.

CIE, 1976. Recomendations on uniform color spaces-color difference equations-psychometric color terms. Suppl. nº 2 to CIE. Publ. nº 15 (E-1.31)197/(TC-1.3). Bureau de la Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage, Paris.

Daza A, 1999. Producción de vacuno de carne en la dehesa. Monografía Bovis nº 87. Ed Luzán, Madrid, Spain. 100 pp.

Daza A, Rey AI, López-Carrasco C, López-Bote CJ, 2012. Effect of gender on growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of calves of Avile-a-Negra Ibérica breed. Span J Agric Res 10: 108-115. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2012101-547-11

Daza A, Rey AI, López-Carrasco C, López-Bote CJ, 2014. Influence of feeding system on growth performance carcass characteristics and meat and fat quality of Avile-a-Negra Ibérica calves bred. Span J Agric Res 12: 409-418. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2014122-4096

Dransfield E, Nute GR, Francombe MA, 1984. Comparison of eating quality of bulls and steers. Anim Prod 39: 37-50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003356100027598

EEC, 1991. Council Regulation nº 1026/91 of 22 April amending Regulation (EEC) nº 1208/81 determining the Community scale for the classification of carcass of adult bovine animals.

Faustman C, Chan WKM, Schaefer DM, Havens A, 1998. Beef color update: the role of vitamin E. J Anim Sci 76: 1019-1026.

FEDNA, 2010. Tablas FEDNA de composición y valor nutritivo de alimentos para la fabricación de piensos compuestos (de Blas C, Mateos GG & García Rebollar P, coords.). Ed Fundación Espa-ola para el Desarrollo de la Nutrición Animal.

Fiems LO, De Campeneere S, Van Caelenbergh W, De Boever JL, Vanacker JM, 2003. Carcass and meat quality in double-muscled Belgian Blue bulls and cows. Meat Sci 63: 345-352. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00092-X

Hedrick HB, Thompson GB, Krause GF, 1969. Comparison of feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of half-sib bulls, steers and heifers. J Anim Sci 29: 687-694.

Kazala EC, Lozeman FJ, Mir PS, Laroche A, Bailey DR, Weselake RJ, 1999. Relationship of fatty acid composition to intramuscular fat content in beef from crossbred Wgyu cattle. J Anim Sci 77: 1717-1725.

Lawrie RA, 1977. Ciencia de la carne. Ed Acribia, Zaragoza, Spain.

Link G, Willeke H, Golze M, Bergfeld U, 2007. Fattening and slaughter performance of bulls and heifers of beef breeds and the cross breed German Angus z Simmental. Archiv fur Terzucht 50: 356-362.

López Bote CJ, Rey A, Ruiz J, Isabel B, Sanz Arias R, 1997. Effects of feeding diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids and α-tocopherol acetate to rabbits on resulting carcass fatty acid profile and lipid oxidation. Anim Sci 64: 177-186. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1357729800015691

Malau-Aduli AEO, Siebert BD, Botterna CDK, Pitchford WS, 1998. Breed comparison of the fatty acid composition of muscle phospholipids in Jersey and Limousine cattle. J Anim Sci 76: 766-773.

Mancini RA, Hunt, MC, 2005. Current research in meat color. Meat Sci 71: 100-121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2005.03.003

Marmer WN, Maxwell RJ, 1981. Dry column method for the quantitative extraction and simultaneous class separation of lipids from muscle tissue. Lipids 16: 365-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02534964

Monserrat L, Sánchez L, Varela A, Carballo JA, 2001. Producción de terneros de raza Rubia Gallega sin destetar: efecto de la extensificación del manejo sobre el color de la carne y de la grasa. ITEA 22: 559-561.

Moreno T, Varela A, Oliete B, Carballo JA, Sánchez L, Monserrat L, 2006. Nutrional characteristics of veal from weaned and unweaned calves: Discriminatory ability of the profile. Meat Sci 73: 209-217. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2005.11.016

Onega E, Miguel E, Blázquez B, Ruiz de Huidobro F, 2001. Evolución de algunos parámetros de calidad de la carne de vacuno en los seis primeros días postmortem. ITEA 22: 568-570.

Panea B, Ripoll G, Olleta JL, Sa-udo C, 2011. Efecto del sexo y del cruzamiento sobre la calidad instrumental y sensorial y sobre la aceptación de la carne de a-ojos de raza Avile-a-Negra Ibérica. ITEA 107: 239-250.

Priolo A, Micol D, Agabriel J, 2001. Effect of grass feeding systems on ruminat meat colour and flavour. A review. Anim Res 50: 185-200. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/animres:2001125

Purchas RW, Zou M, 2008. Composition and quality differences between the longissimus and infraspinatus muscles for several groups of pasture–finished cattle. Meat Sci 80: 470-479. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2008.01.013

Purchas RW, Trumf, EC, Egelandsdal B, 2010. Quality characteristics and composition of the longissimus dorsi muscle in the short-loin from male and female farmed red deer in New Zealand. Meat Sci 86: 505-510. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.05.043

Renerre, M, 1986. Influence de facteurs biologiques et technologiques sur la couleur de la viande. Bull Techn CRZV. Theix, INRA 64: 41-45.

Rey A, López Bote CJ, 2001. Effect of dietary cooper and vitamin E supplementation, and extensive feeding with acorns and gras on longissimus dorsi composition and susceptibility to oxidation in Iberian pigs. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr 85: 281-292. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-0396.2001.00316.x

Ruiz de Huidobro FR, Miguel E, Onega E, Blázquez B, 2003. Changes in meat quality characteristics of bovins meat during the firts 6 days post morten. Meat Sci 65: 1439-1446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0309-1740(03)00068-8

Sánchez Belda A, 1984. Razas bovinas espa-olas. Ed MAPA, 878 pp.

Sa-udo C, Campo MM, 1998. Calidad de la canal por tipos. In: Vacuno de carne: aspectos claves (Buxadé C, ed). Mundi Prensa, Madrid (Spain), pp: 465-492.

SAS, 1999. SAS user's guide statistics. Stat Anal Syst Inst Inc, Cary, NC, USA.

Trout GR, Gutzke D, 1995. The relationship between discolouration rate during refrigerated display and the autooxidation rate of purified myoglobin. The effect of muscle type and species. Proc 41th Int Cong of Meat Science and Technology, pp. 404-405.

Velik M, Steinwidder A, Frickh JJ, Ibi G, Kolbe-Romer A, 2008. Effect of ration, sex and bred on carcass performance and meat quality of cattle from suckler cow systems. Zuchtungskunde 80: 378-388.

Vieira C, García–Cachán MD, Recio MD, Domínguez M, Sa-udo C, 2006. Effect of ageing time on beef quality of rustic type and rustic × Charolais crossbreed cattle slaughtered at the same finishig grade. Span J Agric Res 4: 225-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2006043-197

Wood JD, Enser M, 1997. Factors influencing fatty acids in meat and the role of antioxidants in improwing meat quality. Br J Nutr 78: S49-S60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/BJN19970134

Wood JD, Enser M, Fisher AV, Nute, GR, Sheard PR, Richardson RI, Hughes SI, Whittington FM, 2008. Fat deposition, fatty acid composition and meat quality: a review. Meat Sci 78: 343-358. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.07.019

Yang A, Lanari MC, Brewster M, Tume RH, 2002. Lipid stability and meat colour of beef from pasture and grain-fed cattle with or without vitamin E supplement. Meat Sci 60: 41-50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0309-1740(01)00103-6

Zea J, Díaz MD, 2008. Producción de carne con forraxes ensiladas. Ed Consellería do Medio Rural, Xunta de Galicia. Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.

Zea J, Carballo JA, Díaz MD, 2001. Efecto del sexo y de la suplementación energética en raciones isoproteicas a base de ensilado de maíz para crecimiento y engorde de terneros Rubio Gallegos I. Parámetros productivos y características de las canales. Revista Portuguesa de Zootecnia VIII (1): 87-97.

Zembayashi M, Nishimura K, Luna DK, Smith SB, 1995. Effect of breed type and sex on the fatty acid composition of subcutaneous and intramuscular lipids of finishing steers and heifers. J Anim Sci 73: 3325-3332.

DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014123-4693