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Trace Mineral Benefits on Meat Quality

3 minute read

The most important aspect of meat quality — from the perspective of the consumer — is consuming a product that encompasses product appearance (color), texture (tenderness), flavor (fat content) and nutritional value.

Genetics play a key role in meat quality, but so does nutrition. The quality of feed and feed supplements can have a significant impact on meat quality. Research conducted by Zinpro Corporation shows how performance trace minerals can help improve meat quality.

Performance Trace Minerals Lead to Lower Drip Loss in Meat

Water accounts for approximately 75 percent of the weight of meat, and the ability of muscle to retain moisture is key to many meat-quality parameters held in high regard by the industry and consumers. One important meat quality parameter is drip loss. A high drip loss can lead to losses in terms of appearance, texture, nutritional value and attractiveness of the meat, thereby compromising the quality of the meat and consumer satisfaction.

Zinpro Corporation funded a trace mineral research study to compare the effects of supplementing diets with performance trace minerals to sulfate-based trace minerals on drip loss in non-marinated breasts from 49-day-old broilers. During the study, the zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate and copper sulfate in the broiler diet was replaced with Availa® Zn, Availa® Mn and Availa® Cu

The research study demonstrated significantly less drip loss from the breasts of birds supplemented with trace minerals from Zinpro Performance Minerals®. The differences between the two treatments cannot be explained by pH and color, which were nearly identical. Researchers hypothesized that zinc and/or manganese play a positive role in cell membrane integrity post-mortem, helping to decrease drip loss.

Performance Trace Minerals Increase Meat’s Water Holding Capacity

Another study evaluated the effects of zinc from Availa-Zn alone and Availa-Zn plus Availa-Mn on cooking loss and water-holding capacity. Compared to birds fed a diet containing only zinc sulfate and manganese sulfate, meat from birds fed a diet supplemented with Availa-Zn and Availa-Mn in addition to zinc sulfate had decreased cook loss and retained more of its water-holding capacity providing a better consumer eating experience.

Performance Trace Minerals Enhance Meat’s Nutrition Value

Also, nutritive value improved when a more metabolically available source of trace minerals is fed. For example, including Availa® Se in the diet resulted in a significantly higher amount of selenium in the meat than other sources of selenium improving the nutrient composition of the meat. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant in humans and plays a role in the prevention of some forms of cancer.

Contact your Zinpro representative to learn more about Zinpro Performance Minerals® and their role in helping to enhance meat quality.