Pasture & Mixed Diet: Effect on Antioxidant Status of Beef

Background and methodology
Oxidations in meat are the most important factors responsible for quality loss including flavor, color, texture and nutritive value. The oxidative stability of meat depends upon balance between anti- and pro-oxidant and composition of oxidation substrates including PUFAs, cholesterol, proteins and pigments. Pasture feeding increases PUFAs in beef compared with grain feeding. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of pasture or mixed diet finishing mode on meat antioxidant status in Charolais cattle.
Animals were finished for about 100 days outdoor (during summer) and fed almost exclusively from pasture or finished for the same time indoor (during winter) with a mixed diet composed of cereal mixture, silage and cattle-cake of different origins. Vitamin E content, individual antioxidant enzyme and total antioxidant status were measured.

Vitamin E content was higher in meat from pasture-finishing animals. Pasture feeding mode increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and decreased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in muscle. Total antioxidant status was higher in the mixed diet-group. There was no effect of diet on Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) measurement.

Gatellier, P., Mercier, Y. & Renerre, M. (2004). Effect of diet finishing mode (pasture or mixed diet) on antioxidant status of Charolais bovine meat. Meat Science 67:385-394.