Vitamin D3 supplementation of cull cows: Effects on longissimus and semitendinosus muscle tenderness

N. Rider Sell, W. B. Mikel, Y. L. Xiong, J. M. Behrends

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that supplementation of vitamin D3 to cow diets for 4 to 10 d before slaughter lowers Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) values and increases sensory tenderness scores in beef cuts. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on muscle calcium concentration, WBSF values, and sensory tenderness ratings of LM and semitendinosus (ST) muscles from cull, predominately Angus, cows (eight cows per treatment). Treatments included 0 (control), 5 million IU, or 7.5 million IU of vitamin D3 supplemented daily for 7 d preslaughter. Twenty-four hours after slaughter, 2.54-cm-thick LM and ST muscle steaks were cut; aged for either 0, 7, 14, or 21 d (ST steaks aged for 7 d only); and frozen at -20°C for WBFS and sensory analysis. Mean values for LM calcium concentration tended to increase (P = 0.14) with vitamin D3 supplementation (154, 176, and 183 μig/g, fresh basis, for 0, 5, and 7.5 million IU/d, respectively). After 7 d of aging, LM steaks from cows fed 7.5 million IU had lower (P < 0.05) WBSF values than 7-d steaks from controls and cows fed 5.0 million IU/d aged 7 d; however, vitamin D3 supplementation had no (P > 0.05) effect on WBSF values of ST steaks aged 7 d. Vitamin D3 supplementation did not (P > 0.05) affect sensory tenderness ratings for either LM or ST steaks at any aging period. Aging, however, had a linear (P < 0.001) effect on tenderness, with an increase in tenderness as aging time increased from 0 to 21 d. Thus, results from the present study indicate that vitamin D3 supplementation, at these levels and duration before slaughter, provided little benefit to muscle tenderness of beef from cull cows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Beef
  • Calcium
  • Tenderness
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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