Colour variability of beef in young bulls from fifteen European breeds

Guillermo Ripoll*, Pere Alberti, Begonia Panea, Sebastiana Failla, Jean-Francois Hoquette, Susanna Dunner, Carlos Sanudo, Jose L Olleta, Metta Christensen, Ian Richardson, Serafino Concetti, John L Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


The objective of this study was to determine the variation of the colour of longissimus thoracis muscle within and among fifteen European cattle breeds reared under comparable management conditions. A total of 436 unrelated purebred young bulls from fifteen European breeds (Aberdeen Angus, Highland, Jersey, South Devon, Danish Red, Holstein, Simmental, Asturiana de las Montañas (also known as Casina), Asturiana de los Valles, Avileña-Negra Ibérica, Pirenaica, Marchigiana, Piemontese, Charolais and Limousin) were reared in five experimental research centres in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Italy and France. The pH of M. longissimus thoracis was measured at 24 h and after 10 days of ageing and colour at 48 h and 10 days. Two generalised linear models, Pearson correlations and a hierarchical cluster analyses were carried out. Lean meat colour differed significantly between breeds, and these fifteen European breeds could be grouped according to four classes of commercial interest: ‘very bright and pale-red’, ‘bright and pale’, ‘red’ and ‘dark and dull red’. These groups were partially related to body size and carcass traits, fatness and muscle development and structure, and were controlled by differences in gene expression within each breed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2777-2785
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science and Technology
Issue number12
Early online date27 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Cattle
  • cluster
  • colour difference
  • loin
  • pH

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