ARNOLD PRINCEWIL CHI NJI*;
FONTEH ANYANGWE Florence;
INTRODUCTION: Beef is the most consumed meat worldwide representing 44.44% and 55% of all meat types consumed in Africa and in Cameroon respectively. Given that livestock slaughtering increases as demand and consumption of beef rises in Cameroon with the North West Region indifferent, consumers nowadays are no longer only interested in the quantity, but also the quality of beef consumed. It was therefore imperative to assess the zootechnical characteristics of cattle and the quality of beef from cattle slaughtered at the Bamenda city abattoir.
METHODOLOGY: 265 animals were slaughtered (196 males and 69 females) between the age of 3 to 9 years of the Gudali, Red and White Fulani breeds. Zootechnical characteristics investigated were age, color, sex and breed. Physical analyses included temperature, pH and drip loss, while chemical analysis included determination of moisture, lipid, protein and ash contents.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in temperature and pH of beef between age groups and between breeds. Younger animals (4-6 years) had higher protein, moisture content, than the older animals with rather significantly higher lipid content. No significant difference in the ash and drip loss between breeds. The Gudali beef had higher protein, moisture and lipid contents but lower pH and drip loss compared to the White and Red Fulani breeds.
CONCLUSION: Hence, lipid deposition increases with age, protein, moisture, and drip loss decreases with age. The Gudali had the highest proteins, ash, lipid and moisture making it the best for beef.
STUDY IMPACT: Results of this study should guide policy makers to reinforce regulations governing the age at slaughter of cattle and also the breeds to invest in rearing.
Key words: Cattle, beef, breed, quality.