Residual feed intake of purebred Angus steers: Effects on meat quality and palatability

S. D. Baker, J. I. Szasz, T. A. Klein, P. S. Kuber, C. W. Hunt, J. B. Glaze, D. Falk, R. Richard, J. C. Miller, R. A. Battaglia, R. A. Hill

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    67 Citations (Scopus)


    Relationships between residual feed intake (RFI) and other performance variables were determined using 54 purebred Angus steers. Individual feed intake and BW gain were recorded during a 70-d post-weaning period to calculate RFI. After the 70-d post-weaning test, steers were fed a finishing ration to a similar fat thickness (FT), transported to a commercial facility, and slaughtered. A subsample of carcasses (n = 32) was selected to examine the relationships among RFI, meat quality, and palatability. Steers were categorized into high (>0.5 SD above the mean; n = 16), medium (mid; ±0.5 SD from the mean; n = 21), and low (<0.5 SD below the mean; n = 17) RFI groups. No differences were detected in ADG, initial BW, and d 71 BW among the high, mid, and low RFI steers. Steers from the high RFI group had a greater DMI (P = 0.004) and feed conversion ratio (FCR; DMI:ADG; P = 0.002) compared with the low RFI steers. Residual feed intake was positively correlated with DMI (r = 0.54; P = 0.003) and FCR (r = 0.42; P = 0.002), but not with initial BW, d 71 BW, d 71 ultrasound FT, initial ultrasound LM area, d 71 ultrasound LM area, or ADG. The FCR was positively correlated with initial BW (r = 0.46; P = 0.0005), d 71 BW (r = 0.34; P = 0.01), and DMI (r = 0.40; P = 0.003) and was negatively correlated with ADG (r = -0.65; P = 0.001). There were no differences among RFI groups for HCW, LM area, FT, KPH, USDA yield grade, marbling score, or quality grade. Reflectance color b* scores of steaks from high RFI steers were greater (P = 0.02) than those from low RFI steers. There was no difference between high and low RFI groups for LM calpastatin activity. Warner-Bratzler shear force and sensory panel tenderness and flavor scores of steaks were similar across RFI groups. Steaks from high RFI steers had lower (P = 0.04) off-flavor scores than those from low RFI steers. Cook loss percentages were greater (P = 0.005) for steaks from low RFI steers than for those from mid RFI steers. These data support current views that RFI is independent of ADG, but is correlated with DMI and FCR. Importantly, the data also support the hypothesis that there is no relationship between RFI and beef quality in purebred Angus steers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)938-945
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Animal Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2006


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