Meat quality responses to feeding distiller's grains to finishing Holstein steers

D. L. Roeber, R. K. Gill, A. DiCostanzo

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54 Scopus citations


Strip loins from two experiments were used to evaluate effects of feeding dry (DDG) or wet (WDG) distiller's grains on beef color, tenderness, and sensory traits of Holstein steers. In Exp. 1, conducted at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, dietary treatments consisted of a control whole corn-corn silage diet with soybean meal (SBM) or diets formulated with 12.5% DDG plus urea, 25% DDG, 25% WDG, 50% DDG, or 50% WDG (DM basis). In Exp. 2, conducted at Iowa State University, dietary treatments consisted of cracked corn-corn silage-hay diets with either SBM or urea (Urea) as the control diets, or diets formulated with 10, 20, or 40% DDG or WDG (DM basis). Within each study, strip loins from each of four steers (representing 45.7 and 66.6% of steers in Exp. 1 and 2, respectively) in four replicate pens per treatment were aged for 13 d at 4°C for subsequent color, tenderness, and palatability evaluation. Color of steaks was measured objectively using a HunterLab Miniscan XE spectrophotometer and was subjectively evaluated by a trained panel. Tenderness was measured using the Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) instrument on steaks cooked to 70°C. For sensory evaluation, 95 consumers were recruited to evaluate tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of cooked steaks. In Exp. 1, steaks from steers fed 25% WDG had higher (P < 0.05) a* values after 138 h of simulated retail display than all other treatments, except for those from steers fed 12.5% DDG. In Exp. 2, a greater (P < 0.05) percentage of steaks from steers fed 40% DDG or 40% WDG were considered moderately undesirable during retail display (steaks that received a consumer acceptability score of 3 or less). There were no (P = 0.20 in Exp. 1, and P = 0.33 in Exp. 2) differences among treatments in Exp. 1 and Exp. 2 for WBSF (1.47 ± 0.66 kg and 1.58 ± 0.72 kg, respectively) or taste panel tenderness (5.7 ± 0.30 and 6.2 ± 0.22, respectively), beef flavor (6.0 ± 0.23 and 6.2 ± 0.22, respectively), and juiciness (5.6 ± 0.31 and 5.8 ± 0.23). Feeding distiller's grains at up to 50% of the dietary DM did not affect tenderness or sensory traits, and seems to be a viable feed alternative without negatively impacting sensory attributes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2455-2460
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2005


  • Beef
  • Carcass
  • Distiller's Grains
  • Holstein
  • Sensory Traits


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