Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Jerrad Legako


Jerrad Legako


Silvana Martini


Jennifer MacAdam


Consumer evaluation, proximate data, Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), fatty acid (FA) composition and volatile compounds were analyzed from the Longissimus thoracis (LT), Tricep brachii (TB) and Gluteus medius (GM) muscles finished on conventional feedlot (FL) and forages, including a perennial legume, birdsfoot trefoil (BFT; Lotus corniculatus), and a grass, meadow brome (Bromus riparius Rehmann, Grass). Representative retail forage (USDA Certified Organic Grass-fed, COGF) and conventional beef (USDA Top Choice, TC) were investigated (n = 6) for LT. Additionally, the effects of diet on Gluteus medius (GM) and Tricep brachii (TB) muscles were explored. Forage-finished beef scored lower (P < 0.05) in most of the affected sensory attributes except BFT which was similar to grain-finished beef. In forage-finished beef GM was more liked and in FL, TB was similar to GM except juiciness where it scored greater. The fat percent was found to be greatest (P < 0.05) in TC followed by BFT and FL. Nutritionally beneficial ratios of FAs were observed in forage-finished diet. Fatty acid concentrations were majorly affected (P ≤ 0.046) by diet. Few long-chain PUFAs were affected (P ≤ 0.015) by muscle type. No FA was a effected (P > 0.05) by the interaction of muscle and diet. 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, known to evoke a buttery sensation was affected (P = 0.011) by diet with greater (P < 0.05) concentration in GM across all diets. Strecker degradation products were affected (P ≤ 0.014) by muscle type being prominent in GM. Meanwhile, 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethyl-pyrazine was greatest (P < 0.05) in BFT. All pyrazine compounds were (P < 0.05) greater in GM. These results indicate that when consumer evaluated beef of finishing diets, FL beef was rated highly. Additionally, not all forages produce similar beef. There were similar ratings for BFT for all attributes except flavor having lower values compared with FL. The chemical composition of BFT beef was found to be intermediary and similar to both FL and Grass beef in many cases. Diet was found to interact with muscle for sensory and chemical measures. The GM and TB of FL did not differ (P < 0.05), while within forage treatments sensory response and chemical composition varied. These results indicate the meat quality of secondary beef muscles is more greatly impacted by forage diets.