Have you ever thought why cow meat is called beef? Why, not cow or meat meat, by analogy with pork (from "pig") or rabbit (from "rabbit"), namely beef. The answer to this question may not only be interesting, but also suggest other, more important points related to cattle meat productivity and meat quality. Next, we will tell you where the term came from, how to determine the quality of products by name, and what "meat productivity" means.
Beef or veal: origins and differences
The term "beef" appeared in Russia and meant meat of cattle. If we turn to the dictionaries, we will see that this word is derived from "govedo" - bull, cattle. But at that time, only bull meat was used as food, but the cow was not touched until it was completely hungry times, since it was used to get milk from it.
Nowadays, in Western European countries, cows are not eaten, as this product is considered to be of insufficient quality. In Russia, beef is called any meat, since both cows and bulls are allowed to feed. This is due to the fact that the generalization helps to "hide" (unintentionally) who actually owns it.
Quite different things are with veal, because this term means cutting a young bull - softer and more tasty, respectively, and more expensive. Knowing these nuances, you can always choose really high-quality meat, and not a second-rate product.
Features of varieties and their classification
We have already figured out that cow meat is beef, and calf meat is veal.
But this product classification is not the only one. In stores and cattle farms, it is customary to classify meat into three varieties. The first is the back, sternum, fillet, rump, rump and rump.
The second grade is the scapula, shoulder and groin clippings. The third variety is the notch, as well as the front and back shin. Knowledge of these categories are used in cooking, as many dishes are prepared only from first-class meat.
For this reason, the classification of a product greatly influences its value. So, for veal or beef of the first category, you will have to pay a decent amount. The meatballs are quite inexpensive and are considered to be a “by-product” product, giving farmers a minimum profit.
Differences in the meat of the first and second categories
This classification of meat is directly dependent on the category of fatness of livestock. Experienced farmers can "by eye" determine which category include the cow or bull. For the first meat category, only animals are suitable, whose fatness and muscle mass is on an average level - they do not have bones and fat deposits are felt.
In a cow that is suitable for slaughter, one can notice rounded body shapes, poorly expressed shoulder blades and sciatic tubercles. In calves forms rounder, and fatty tissue can be traced more clearly. In practice, bulls produce more meat than cows. Therefore, the hens are allowed to be slaughtered only in situations where it cannot be used to produce milk.
Bullheads, fattened from birth, are often castrated. So they quickly gain weight for slaughter. But these animals are subject to additional inspection before slaughter. Their scrotum must be filled with adipose tissue.
Categories of fatness and class differences
Bullheads and heifers when slaughtered are divided into classes, depending on how much net weight will be obtained after slaughter. Live weight is affected by living conditions, feeding methods, level of health.
But there is a factor that does not depend on the efforts of the farmer - the breed. Some representatives of the cattle are simply not designed for fattening, and their fatness will remain minimal with all the efforts of the breeder.
Cows and bulls fall into three categories:
- the first category is weight from 450 kg .;
- the second category - weight 350-450 kg .;
- the third category - weight less than 350 kg.
Separately, it is necessary to allocate calves that are allowed for slaughter. If their weight at slaughter exceeds 30 kg, then the meat falls into the first category. Calves with less weight for slaughter are rarely rented, and their meat belongs to the second category.
It is important to remember that young slaughter for slaughter is possible only after they reach two weeks of age. Until that time, their muscles and fat layer are not completely formed.
The composition of meat and its autolization
On average, beef is 75% water, 22% protein, 2-3% fat and 3-5% vitamins and inorganic substances. These figures are not affected by the weight of the cow, its fatness or slaughter of meat. They are constant and talk about the nutritional value of the beef.
But it is important to store livestock meat properly, otherwise it will become tough a day after slaughter, lose taste and acquire an unpleasant odor. The best product is the one that was obtained immediately after slaughter. It is called a paired and has a delicate texture and amazing taste and aroma.
But working with such a product is very difficult, so meat is subjected to autolization - the process of processing its own enzymes. This procedure helps to preserve the taste for a longer period. The process occurs at a temperature of about zero degrees, but not lower, and takes from 3 to 12 days, depending on the age of the animal.
The final yield of beef and influencing factors
Slaughter weight is the amount of pure meat obtained after the slaughter of cattle, with deduction of bones, skin, internal organs and excessive moisture. There are aspects that affect the meat productivity of cows, the main of which is the type of breed.
So, from dairy breeds 40-50% of pure meat are obtained, and meat breeds give 50-60% of production. In specialized breeds, such as the Belgian blue, slaughter yield can reach up to 76%.
Several factors can influence the yield mass: breed, age, diet. Thus, meat breeds such as the Kazakh white-headed or Hereford produce more than 60% of pure meat. But with improper feeding, even in these highly productive breeds, fatness can drop to 15%.
Appointment of meat examination
Before getting to the store counter, an examination of meat is carried out in order to identify its quality. Any animals should be checked, but especially pork and beef, as they can be carriers of infections.
Microbes and bacteria are able to be contained in both fresh and processed products, so meat is examined on all presale stages.
The product may be initially infected (organisms living in the body of livestock during its life), or infected after the slaughter of cattle (violation of sanitary and hygienic regulations). Of particular danger are parasites that cause trichinosis and salmonellosis.
Damage to meat can also occur with improper storage - violation of temperature conditions and timing. To accurately determine how much it was stored in the seller, just look at its color. The longer the shelf life, the darker the product. Fresh beef and veal is stored for up to 12 days at a temperature of 0 to -1 degrees. Frozen foods can be stored from 8 to 18 months, at temperatures of 12-25 degrees below zero.
Examination of meat products: the need and criteria
To ensure that the product supplied on the shelves is safe for consumption, it must be subjected to sanitary and epidemiological testing. Factors affecting the conclusion of such a commission: the correctness of the documents, the quality of the product, its morphological, chemical, physico-chemical and organoleptic characteristics.
After analyzing the factors, a conclusion is issued that determines the quality of the product, the number of days for storage, the type of sale. If these examinations are unsatisfactory, then the meat obtained from the calf is generally not allowed to be sold. In other cases, products are sent for processing at a set temperature.
It may be asked why they do not do such an examination in advance, or why it should be done at all, because the veterans regularly inspect the animals on the farm. The fact is that some diseases are easily overlooked, and some bacteria get into the meat only after slaughter, so it is illegal to sell products without sanitary inspection.
Levels of expertise
Checking the ratio of fat, muscle, connective tissue and bone in meat is called morphological examination. It determines the size of the fibers, the marbling level and how much fat is in the product. Organoleptic examination is carried out on the "external" indicators: color and smell.
When checking the external characteristics, the color of the product is taken into account, whether a crust has formed, if there are blood clots, if there is dirt, if there is no mildew, larvae or putrid odor. The latter is given special attention. To begin to determine the flavor of the upper layer. Next, cutting a piece, they study the smell of the lower layers, muscle tissue and bones. If the product is spoiled, it smells sour, musty and rotten.
In the examination of technological processing, the quality of the removal of blood clots, the presence of bone residues, whether there are damaged tissues, residues of internal organs, or stomach contents are examined.
Reasons for culling
The meat of a young calf or adult bull may be rejected for the following reasons:
- violation of processing technology;
- lack of fatness;
- the product has undergone several frosts;
- on the product remains icy;
- lack of stigma;
- discrepancy between the stigma and the level of fatness;
- spoiled product.
Only high-quality fresh meat is allowed for sale, in accordance with organoleptic characteristics. In severely damaged form, it can become almost black.
If the quality of the product is questionable, then it is subjected to chemical research. To determine the freshness, a histological method is used, and in case of doubt, bacteriological examination is used.
Signs to identify quality
Fresh, chilled meat has a dry pale pink or red surface. After cutting, the piece becomes wet, but not sticky. Juice - clear. If you press your finger on a fresh cut, a hole is formed, which will soon disappear.
The color of the fresh frozen product is brighter than that of the cooled product. If a piece is cut, then a gray-pink shade will be on the wooden house, but you should touch it with your finger and the shade will change to bright red. When you tap on a frozen fresh piece, you get a ringing sound. There is no smell when frozen.
A fresh, thawed piece acquires a red color and high humidity. If you lift a piece, the juice will flow from it. The product itself is quite loose, not elastic.
It is possible to determine the re-frozen piece by color in the place of cutting - it is dark red. If you touch it with your finger, the color will not change.
If the product is just starting to deteriorate, then there is almost no change in color. But a crust of dark, almost black color appears. On the section you can notice the mucus and mold in the form of white spots. The sour smell is formed. When pressed with a finger, the groove slowly recovers.
If the product is completely spoiled, then it becomes grayish or greenish. The surface of the piece may be excessively dry or covered with mucus. The consistency becomes flabby and when pressed, the groove does not return to its shape. This piece smells really bad - rot, sour and stale.
The data described in the article is important both for farmers and for ordinary buyers. So, even if you know about all this, repost and share knowledge with friends so that they can choose quality products.
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