Quality Grade and Its Relevance to Composition

Even though the quality grade of a beef carcass does not largely affect the composition, there are evident trends in the overall composition of carcasses with higher and lower marbling scores. Obviously, with an increase in marbling score (intramuscular fat) there will be an increase in the total amount of fat in the animal, also contributing to lower percentages of moisture in the lean tissues.[4] Beef animals tend to have increased numerical yield grades and hot carcass weights with an increase in marbling score.[5] This trend is due the animals' ability to produce greater amounts of marbling at a more mature age while being on a higher plane of nutrition that results in heavier slaughter weights and greater amounts of external fat. Moreover, animals that marble more readily also have tendencies to deposit greater amounts of seam (intermuscular) fat.

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