The effect of different selenium sources during the finishing phase on beef quality
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University of Milan, Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, Via G. Celoria 10, 20133, Milan, Italy
Consorzio Agrario Lombardo Veneto, Via Francia 2, 37135, Verona, Italy
Lesaffre Feed Additives, 137 rue Gabriel Péri, 59700 Marcq-en-Barœul, France
Publication date: 2015-06-14
Corresponding author
C. A. Sgoifo Rossi   

University of Milan, Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, Via G. Celoria 10, 20133, Milan, Italy
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2015;24(2):93-99
Selenium (Se) is involved in several biological functions ans its supplementation is necessary for farm animals. Se can be provided in organic or inorganic forms, which are metabolized differently. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of switching the Se source in the last 60 days of fattening on beef quality and Se content in meat. Charolaise beef heifers supplemented since the beginning of the fattening period with sodium selenite (162 heads; 517 ± 61 days of age) were divided into two groups, fed the same diet, in which Se (0.2 mg Se · kg–1 DM of feed) was provided as sodium selenite (SS; 82 heads, 450.7 ± 33.7 kg body weight – BW) or selenium-enriched yeast (Se-Y; 80 heads, 454.6 ± 41.7 kg BW). The Se source did not affect growth performance, meat centesimal composition, thawing loss, cooking or drip losses, and pH during 8 days of aerobic storage. Se-Y supplementation improved the meat Se content (P < 0.001) and tended to reduce shear force (P = 0.076) at 48 h post mortem. Lightness (P < 0.01) and yellowness (P < 0.01) decreased with the duration of storage and were higher in the Se-Y group compared with the SS group during 8 days of storage. Meat from group Se-Y also showed a better visual score for colour (P < 0.01), odour (P < 0.05), surface wetness (P < 0.05) and overall appearance (P < 0.01). Under the given experimental conditions, switching beef heifers from inorganic to organic Se in the last two months of fattening improved meat tenderness, shelf life, colour stability and muscle Se content.
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