Effect of Pasture or Maize Silage Feeding on the Nutritional Value of Beef
The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional value of beef from different production systems. The study was conducted with Hereford bulls on organic and conventional farms. On the organic farm, fattening was mainly based on roughages, including pasture forage in the summer season, when the end of fattening occurred. On the conventional farm the bulls were fed maize silage and concentrate. On both farms, the animals were aged 7-9 months at the beginning of fattening. The bulls were fattened to a final body weight of 550-600 kg. Samples of longissimus thoracis muscle were collected from half-carcasses of slaughtered bulls originating from each farm to analyse fat content, fatty acid profile, and content of selected minerals and vitamin E. Muscle samples were additionally analysed for the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances 3 and 7 days after slaughter. Analyses showed a lower fat content in longissimus thoracis muscle of bulls from the pasture feeding system. The fatty acid profile was also characterized by a lower content of C 14:0, and a higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), including C18:3 n-3, conjugated linoleic acid, C 20:5 n-3, and C 22:5 n-3, as well as by a lower ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFA. The total content of monounsaturated fatty acids was significantly higher in animals fed maize silage and feed concentrate. In turn, the muscle of pasture fed animals had higher levels of Na, Zn and Fe as well as of vitamin E.
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