La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560

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Breeding of large camelids

While the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the large camelids (dromedaries and Bactrian camels) have been widely commented by researchers, the modalities of its rearing (reproduction, lactation, feeding, fattening, sanitary and technico-economic management) in a context of "zootechnical modernization" are more rarely exposed. The present book attempts to provide a practical synthesis for all the new actors of this emerging sector.

Breeding of the Maraîchine breed beef cattle and meat quality

The breeding of local breeds with small or very small numbers of animals is currently attracting renewed interest because it is in line with agro-ecological issues and meets consumer aspirations. This article focuses on the Maraîchine cattle breed, which is currently used for meat production. Within the framework of a research-action project, researchers built a protocol with farmers to evaluate the nutritional and sensory quality of their beef. After presenting the context of the Maraîchine cow farm, the article presents the experimental design and the results obtained. Ten grass-finished beef cattle and 8 concentrate-finished beef cattle from 7 farms were recruited. The analyses were performed on flank steak and focused on the biochemical and metabolic characteristics of the muscle, sensory qualities and rheological properties, intramuscular lipid content and fatty acid composition, and finally, on the antioxidant potential of the meat. Meat is on average richer in polyunsaturated fatty acids and less rich in saturated fatty acids than other meat breeds. The grass finishing diet leads to leaner meats with a better health value. Antioxidant defenses are very high and grass-fed finishing mainly strengthens exogenous antioxidant defenses. Regarding sensory and rheological qualities, grass finishing does not affect the color of the meat but results in a less tender meat despite an increase in juiciness.

Quality prediction tools tested by French professionals

The beef industry is structured by two types of consumption: everyday purchases oriented towards economical products in tender portions, often processed (such as chopped steak) and pleasure purchases oriented towards a search for gustatory pleasure and the satisfaction of societal and environmental criteria.
However, it is difficult for the industry to guarantee regular and homogeneous products to satisfy consumers. These inadequacies stem from the current carcass grading systems. Thus, the professionals we met appear to be in favor of a change in the grading system based on a sensory quality prediction system that could be inspired by foreign systems such as "Meat Standards Australia" for butchered cuts. Such a system, through its segmentation, could meet the expectations of both types of consumption, daily and pleasure, allowing to generate an added value for the whole sector as it is the case in Australia. However, the diversity of organizations with sometimes divergent interests makes it very unlikely, in the short term, to set up a prediction system on a sector-wide scale. Thus, the implementation of a carcass prediction system would more likely be the result of an individual initiative. The links where an individual initiative is most likely are, on the one hand, mass distribution for which the triggering lever lies in the dissemination of knowledge and, on the other hand, meat companies independent of livestock farming that wish to ensure a regular and qualitative supply. In addition, economic, operational, political and knowledge barriers make it unlikely that a sensory quality prediction system for beef will be developed collectively or by the upstream sector. However, a low probability exists, depending on the perception of a possible socio-economic opportunity by an innovative organization or on the evolution of European regulations.

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