TASTE TEST

Will Hol­stein beef stack up?

Dairy News Australia - - FRONT PAGE -

IT’S NOT five star din­ing but Charles Sturt Univer­sity (CSU) sci­en­tists are putting their re­search into beef eat­ing qual­ity to the taste test to ex­plore a po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity for dairy farm­ers. Re­searchers from the Gra­ham Cen­tre for Agri­cul­tural Innovation are run­ning con­sumer sen­sory anal­y­sis ses­sions, or taste test­ing, of beef prod­ucts in Wagga Wagga. CSU lec­turer in farm­ing sys­tems, Michael Camp­bell said, the Gra­ham Cen­tre has var­i­ous projects in­ves­ti­gat­ing how dif­fer­ent man­age­ment, feed­ing regimes, breed and meat stor­age af­fects the eat­ing qual­ity of beef. “While some fac­tors af­fect­ing eat­ing qual­ity can be mea­sured in the lab­o­ra­tory we need con­sumers to be part of the next phase of our re­search, to taste some of these beef prod­ucts.” One of the things be­ing put to the taste test is re­search ex­am­in­ing the eat­ing qual­ity of Hol­stein meat. CSU Bach­e­lor of An­i­mal Science (Hon­ours) stu­dent Veronika Vi­cic’s re­search will com­pare the car­cass per­for­mance and eat­ing qual­ity of meat from Hol­stein steers with Bri­tish breed beef steers fed a com­mon diet. “The Aus­tralian dairy in­dus­try slaugh­ters more than 500 000 male calves per year, most are mar­keted as veal with car­casses rang­ing be­tween 50 to 150 kilo­grams, and they are gen­er­ally re­garded as a low-value prod­uct,” Ms Vi­cic said. “There’s po­ten­tial to grow these steers out to higher weights, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for dairy farm­ers to ex­pand and in­te­grate their en­ter­prise into the beef mar­ket. “Com­mer­cial feed­lot data from Amer­ica in­di­cates that Hol­stein steers con­sume less feed and can ex­ceed per­for­mance and grad­ing of tra­di­tional beef breeds, al­though their dress­ing per­cent­age is lower. There’s also lim­ited in­for­ma­tion about what con­sumers think about the meat and my re­search aims to pro­vide some base­line data.” Ms Vi­cic’s re­search has been ap­proved by CSU’s Hu­man Ethics Re­search Com­mit­tee and is sup­ported by a Gra­ham Cen­tre Hon­ours re­search schol­ar­ship. One con­sumer sen­sory anal­y­sis ses­sion has al­ready been run in Septem­ber with more planned for Oc­to­ber.

Charles Sturt Uni stu­dent Veronika Vi­cic and CSU lec­turer Michael Camp­bell with a plate of tasty Hol­stein steaks.

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