Original scientific paper
What is the current quality of cow’s meat in Slovakia in comparison with meat of bulls?
2016, 17 (1) p. 1-11
The present study aimed at comparison of chemical composition, meat quality and sensory parameters of cow’s meat and meat from bulls produced under Slovak conditions and sold in retail of Slovakia. The analysis was performed on 181 cows and 78 bulls. Cows were also divided in two groups according to age at slaughter – over (n = 135) and/or under 4 years (n = 46). The meat samples were taken in eight slaughter houses located in the western, central and eastern part of Slovakia. The age of cows slaughtered had significant effect (P < 0.05) on the most meat quality and sensory traits which were evaluated much more worse in older cows with comparison to bulls than in younger cows. Older cows had lower content of proteins and water in meat, lower pH7 and colour parameter “L” as well as worse evaluation of all sensory parameters in comparison to bulls (P < 0.05). On the other hand, intramuscular fat content, energetic value of meat, marbling, pH48, colour parameter “a” and cooking loss were higher in meat of older cows than bulls (P < 0.05). Differences in traits observed between younger cows and bulls were statistically significant (P < 0.05) only for content of proteins and water, pH48, colour parameter “a”, cooking loss and evaluation of odour. The hypothesis of significantly poorer meat and eating quality is justified in the case of cows over 4 years. The study did not confirm the decreasing age of cows at slaughter as suggested previous studies.