Zilpaterol hydrochloride supplementation has no effect on the shelf life of ground beef
Johnson, Bradley J.
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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) on the shelf life and stability of ground beef. Beef knuckles and plates were obtained from USDA Select beef heifer carcasses from control (CON) animals or those supplemented with ZH (8.33 mg/kg of dietary DM basis) for the last 20 d of the finishing period. Subprimals were coarsely ground and blended to produce an 80% lean product. The mixture was vacuum-stuffed into chubs and placed in dark storage at 2 to 4°C for 7, 14, or 21 d before fine grinding. Each week, the finely ground samples were packaged on expanded polystyrene trays overwrapped with polyvinyl chloride film and placed in refrigerated retail cases (0 to 2°C) under continuous fluorescent lighting to simulate retail display. Samples were subjected to a variety of analyses at different time intervals (h) during simulated display, including composition analysis, thiobarbituric acid-reacting substance analysis (TBA), sensory color, instrumental color, and aerobic plate count. Data analysis revealed trained sensory color and discoloration scores were similar between CON and ZH-treated samples. Instrumental L* and b* values for CON and ZH-treated samples did not differ (P = 0.13 and 0.19, respectively). Instrumental a* values declined (P < 0.05) over the display period for CON and ZH ground beef. However, a* values for ZH ground beef stored for 7 d were greater (P < 0.05) than CON values at 18 through 72 h of display. There was a treatment × storage day interaction (P < 0.001) for TBA values with ZH having smaller TBA values than CON after 7 d of dark storage. There was no difference (P = 0.21) in aerobic plate count between ZH and CON ground beef samples. Overall, ground beef from cattle supplemented with ZH was equal to or better than CON for sensory color and discoloration, instrumental color, and stability variables, including TBA reactive substances and aerobic plate counts.