Influence of subcutaneous fat thickness on the carcass characteristics and meat quality of beef cattle

<div><p>ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was to examine the effect of subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) on carcass characteristics and meat quality in 24-month-old British and crossbred British steers finished in feedlot systems. It was assessed using meta-analysis performed on data that was extracted from 46 published studies and comprising a total of 2,695 experimental units. We found that SFT was influenced by and increased linearly with hot carcass weights (HCWs) and cold carcass weights (CCWs) and their yields; moreover, the bone fraction decreased whereas the muscle and fat fractions increased with higher levels of SFT. No significant differences were detected in meat quality variables. Thus, SFT appeared to have a direct influence on HCW, CCW, and the weight and yield of bone, muscle, and fat of castrated steers. A uniform fat thickness level of 6.0 mm SFT was determined to be the standard of quality of carcasses and meat products for consumers.</p></div>