Cattleyak, the interspecies hybrid from cattle (males) and yak (females), displays a faster growth rate and higher feeding efficiency than yak with usually one-year shorter raising cycle. This study aimed to assess the carcass characteristics and meat quality attributes of cattleyak by compared to yak at a similar bodyweight. Results showed that cattleyak exhibited an elevated dressing percentage (58.33%) and a significantly higher content of healthy fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (5.64%) and docosahexaenoic acid (0.46%) (P < 0.05). Compared to yak meat, the tenderness of cattleyak meat was significantly enhanced (P < 0.05), with the lower Warner-Bratzler shear force (59.53 N) and hardness value (580.92 g), as well as the significant reduction of more than 20% of muscle fiber diameter (P < 0.05). Additionally, myofibrillar proteins in cattleyak, including desmin, tropomyosin, and troponin-T, degraded faster than those in yak (P < 0.05), indicating their role in tenderization improvement in cattleyak. These findings suggest that, in comparison to yaks of the similar bodyweight, cattleyaks with less than one year of the raising cycle have improved meat quality and economic efficiency.
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This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Projects (2019YFE0103800), The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (STEP) program (2019QZKK0302), High Quality Cattle Breeding Materials and Methods Innovation (21ZDYF2193), Sichuan Science and Technology Program (2021YFYZ0007), Qinghai Science and Technology Program (2022-NK-130), and Program of Chinese National Beef Cattle and Yak Industrial Technology System (CARS-37).
Food Science of Animal Products published by Tsinghua University Press. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).