Bull beef production is traditionally based on high concentrate rations fed indoors. Inclusion of grazed grass, which is generally a cheaper feed, would decrease the cost of bull beef production, but may affect beef quality. Accordingly, the organoleptic quality and composition of beef from Continental-sired suckler bulls (n = 126) assigned to either: ad libitum concentrates to slaughter (C), grass silage ad libitum for 120 days (GS) followed by C (GSC), or GS, followed by 100 days at pasture and then C (GSPC) and slaughtered at target carcass weights (CW) of 360, 410 or 460 kg was examined. Tenderness, flavour liking and overall liking were lower (P < 0.05) for GSPC than for C and GSC. Intramuscular fat content and soluble collagen proportion were lower (P < 0.05) for GSPC than GSC which was lower (P < 0.05) than C. Soluble collagen proportion was lower (P < 0.05) for 460 kg than 410 kg CW, which was lower (P < 0.05) than 360 kg CW. Inclusion of a grazing period decreased the ratings of tenderness, flavour liking and overall liking but age of the bulls at slaughter had no clear influence on sensory characteristics.
- fat colour