Breed content

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All breeds of cattle are eligible for MSA grading, although Bos indicus or tropical breed content (TBC) as a single attribute can have up to 12% variation on eating quality. Generally as tropical breed content increases, eating quality decreases.

MSA research has shown that the tropical breed content of cattle (Bos indicus) has a negative impact on the eating quality of many cuts. The negative effect is most evident in those cuts with little connective tissue and is primarily associated with differences in enzyme action within the muscles between Bos Taurus and Bos indicus breeds.

While hump height has been used to validate tropical breed content, recent research examined the relationship between hump height, breed composition using genotyping and Bos indicus content to further explore the relationship to eating quality. MSA found that the accuracy of predicting eating quality was similar regardless of whether it had been estimated from genomics, or from hump height (measured in conjunction with carcase weight and sex).

As a result, hump height (in conjunction with carcase weight and sex) is now used as the direct predictor of eating quality within the MSA model in regards to the Tropical Breed content of cattle.

On-farm management of genetics and nutrition will maximize eating quality of beef from tropical breed cattle.

Producers need to declare whether their cattle contain tropical breed content on the MSA vendor declaration form by indicating the estimated percentage.

Below are links to the MSA Tips and Tools page for more information on the eating quality of tropical breed cattle.

The effect of TBC

Maximising with TBC