Hamilton, Australia
Hamilton, Australia

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Warner R.D.,CSIRO | Thompson J.M.,University of New England of Australia | Polkinghorne R.,Murrurundi | Gutzke D.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Kearney G.A.,36 Paynes Road
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

Few consumer data are available on the effects of high rigor temperatures on eating quality of different muscles in the beef carcass. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of high rigor temperature (heat-toughening) on the consumer and quality traits of two beef muscles. A dataset containing consumer eating-quality scores for 3865 striploins (m. longissimus lumborum) and 734 rumps (gluteus medius) was analysed. Temperature at pH 6 (temp@pH6) was calculated for the striploin and carcasses with a temp@pH6 of >35°C were classified as high rigor temperature (heat-toughened) carcasses. For short ageing periods (1-7 days), high rigor temperature striploins were assessed, by a consumer panel, as being more tender with higher overall liking and higher (more liked) flavour and juiciness, than were striploins entering rigor at a lower temperature. Beyond 14 days of ageing, the high rigor temperature striploins showed minimal improvement in tenderness and the other eating-quality attributes also showed minimal improvements. The consumer scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking for the rump decreased with increasing rigor temperature. High rigor temperature striploins were scored, by trained graders, to have a higher proportion of coarser and softer texture and paler colour. Carcasses defined as 'high rigor temperature' will show minimal ageing after extended storage and, at grading, have a higher proportion with pale colour and softer, coarser texture compared to lower rigor temperature carcasses. In conclusion, methods to reduce high rigor temperatures in beef carcasses would improve the acceptability of beef. © 2014 CSIRO.


Watkins P.J.,CSIRO | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road | Rose G.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Allen D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | And 5 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2014

Tenderness, flavour, overall liking and odour are important components of sheepmeat eating quality. Consumer assessment of these attributes has been made for carcasses from the Information Nucleus Flock (INF) of the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation. The concentrations of three branched chain fatty acids, 4-methyloctanoic (MOA), 4-ethyloctanoic (EOA) and 4-methylnonanoic acids (compounds related to 'mutton flavour' in cooked sheepmeat) and 3-methylindole and 4-methylphenol (compounds related to 'pastoral' flavour) were determined for 178 fat samples taken from INF carcasses. Statistical modelling revealed that both MOA and EOA impacted on the 'Like Smell' consumer sensory score of the cooked meat product ( P<. 0.05), with increasing concentration causing lower consumer acceptance of the product. None of the compounds though had an effect on the liking of flavour. Obviously, reducing the effect of MOA and EOA on the odour of grilled lamb will improve consumer acceptance of the cooked product but other factors affecting the eating quality also need to be considered. © 2012 The Authors.


Warner R.D.,Cooperative Research Center for Sheep Industry Innovation | Warner R.D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Warner R.D.,CSIRO | Jacob R.H.,Baron Hay Court | And 8 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2010

The effects of production and processing factors on tenderness, and colour of lamb meat produced from 7 locations as part of the Australian Sheep Industry CRC's Information Nucleus flock were investigated, using data from 2052 lambs slaughtered in 2007. At 24 h post-slaughter, samples of m. longissimus lumborum (LL) and m. semimembranosus (SM) were collected for measurement of intramuscular fat (IMF), myoglobin, iron and copper and fresh meat colour (L*, a*, b*) and pH at 24 h measured on the LL. pH and temperature measurements made pre-rigor were used to calculate the pH at 18°C. Tenderness was measured by LL shear force at days 1 (SF1) and 5 (SF5) post-slaughter, the shear force difference (SF-diff) and SM compression and collagen concentration were determined. Retail colour stability was assessed using over-wrapped LL under simulated retail display for 3 days, according to the change in the oxymyoglobin/metmyoglobin ratio. All traits were affected by flock and date of slaughter (P < 0.001). After 4 days of ageing, 7095% of the LL samples from all flocks, except for one, had acceptable tenderness for consumers based on their shear force. Low IMF, high LL pH at 18°C and high pH at 24 h increased SF1 and SF5 and also had an effect on SF-diff (P < 0.001). The retail colour of 44.8% of the samples on day 3 of retail display were lower than acceptable. Retail colour was influenced by IMF, pH18 and the concentration of iron and copper (P < 0.001). In conclusion, breeding and management practices that increase muscle IMF levels and reduce ultimate pH values and processing practices that result in moderate rates of pH fall post-slaughter, improve the tenderness of lamb. Extension of retail colour stability may be antagonistic to traits associated with tenderness and nutritional traits, particularly IMF and mineral levels. © 2010 CSIRO.


Officer S.J.,Jobs | Phillips F.,University of Wollongong | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road | Armstrong R.,Jobs | And 3 more authors.
Soil Research | Year: 2015

Although large areas of semi-arid land are extensively cropped, few studies have investigated the effect of nitrogen (N) fertiliser on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in these regions (Galbally et al. 2010). These emissions need to be measured in order to estimate N losses and calculate national greenhouse gas inventories. We examined the effect of different agronomic management practices applied to wheat (Triticum aestivum) grown on an alkaline Vertosol in south-eastern Australia on N2O emissions. In 2007, N2O emissions were measured over 12 months, during which N fertiliser (urea) was applied at sowing or N fertiliser plus supplementary irrigation (50mm) was applied during the vegetative stage and compared with a treatment of no N fertiliser or irrigation. In a second experiment (2008), the effect of source of N on N2O emissions was examined. Wheat was grown on plots where either a pulse (field peas, Pisum sativum) or pasture legume (barrel medic, Medicago truncatula) crop had been sown in the previous season compared with a non-legume crop (canola, Brassica napus). To account for the N supplied by the legume phase, N fertiliser (50kgNha-1 as urea) was applied only to the wheat in the plots previously sown to canola. Fluxes of N2O were measured on a sub-daily basis (up to 16 measurements per chamber) by using automated chamber enclosures and a tuneable diode laser, and treatment differences were evaluated by a linear mixed model including cubic smoothing splines. Fluxes were low and highly variable, ranging from -3 to 28ng N2O-Nm-2s-1. The application of N fertiliser at sowing increased N2O emissions for ∼2 months after the fertiliser was applied. Applying irrigation (50mm) during the vegetative growth stage produced a temporary (∼1-week) but non-significant increase in N2O emissions compared with plots that received N fertiliser at sowing but were not irrigated. Including a legume in the rotation significantly increased soil inorganic N at sowing of the following wheat crop by 38kgNha-1 (field peas) or 57kgha-1 (barrel medic) compared with a canola crop. However, N2O emissions were greater in wheat plots where N fertiliser was applied than where wheat was sown into legume plots where no N fertiliser was applied. Over the 2 years of the field study, N2O emissions attributed to fertiliser ranged from 41 to 111g N2O-Nha-1, and averaged of 75g N2O-Nha-1 or 0.15% of the applied N fertiliser. Our findings confirm that the proportion of N fertiliser emitted as N2O from rainfed grain crops grown in Australian semi-arid regions is less than the international average of 1.0%. © CSIRO 2015.


Clark S.G.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Clark S.G.,ooperative Research Center for Future Farm Industries | Ward G.N.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Ward G.N.,ooperative Research Center for Future Farm Industries | And 10 more authors.
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2013

Although generally well adapted and productive, the summer-dormant perennial pastures of southern Australia do not provide a year-round, high nutritive value feed base, they fail to respond to summer rainfall, and they are inefficient in using stored soil water, which can contribute to dryland salinity. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that deep-rooted, summer-active perennial pasture species, matched to soil type, can be grown successfully in southern Australia to increase pasture and animal productivity and to provide high quality feed in summer-autumn. Specifically, the experiment compared a traditional perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) pasture system with two systems based on summer-active species: the triple system with lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) and tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb) Darbysh), and the novel system with chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov). The experiment incorporated three livestock systems (two sheep and one cattle) and took into account the three main soil types occurring on the DPI Hamilton research farm. After 4 years the perennial ryegrass, lucerne, and tall fescue components were all persisting well and providing feed with high nutritive value (all with frequency scores >70% in the last year of the experiment). The chicory and kikuyu pastures declined over the life of the experiment and were contributing little at the end (frequency scores <15% in the final year). Lucerne, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass cv. Banquet were able to respond to summer rainfall events to provide valuable, high-quality feed at a time when the quality of perennial ryegrass pasture is normally at its lowest; April 2007 crude protein per cent dry matter values were Avalon perennial ryegrass 16.6, Fitzroy perennial ryegrass 15.6, kikuyu 24.2, lucerne 25.8, and tall fescue 20.3 following a 98mm rainfall event in late January 2007. This study has shown that the triple and ryegrass systems were persistent and of high nutritive value, with the sown perennial species contributing the majority of the sward dry matter during the growing season. © 2013 CSIRO.


Warner R.D.,CSIRO | Dunshea F.R.,University of Melbourne | Gutzke D.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Lau J.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

Beef carcasses undergoing rapid pH fall while the loin muscle temperature is still high are described as heat-shortened, heat-toughened or 'high rigor temperature' carcasses, with subsequent negative effects on quality traits. The aim of the study was to quantify the occurrence of high rigor temperature in beef carcasses across Australia and to identify the causative factors. Data was collected over 4-5 days at each of seven beef processing plants from 1512 beef carcasses. The beef carcasses were from both grass-and grain-fed cattle ranging in days on grain feeding from 0 (grass-fed) to 350 days and the category of cattle ranged from veal to ox and cow. Data collected on the day of slaughter included the duration of electrical inputs at the immobiliser, electrical stimulation and hide puller, longissimus muscle pH and temperature decline, hot carcass weight and P8 fat depth. At grading, ultimate pH, eye muscle area, wetness of the loin surface and colour score were also collected. The temperature at pH 6 was calculated and if it was >35°C, the carcass was defined as 'high rigor temperature'. Modelling of the data was conducted using GLMM and REML. The occurrence of high rigor temperature across all seven beef processing plants was 74.6% ranging from 56 to 94% between beef processing plants. Increasing days in the feedlot and heavier carcass weights were highly correlated and both caused an increase in the predicted temperature at pH 6 and in the % high rigor temperature (P < 0.05 for both). Longer duration of electrical inputs at the hide puller, fatter grass-fed cattle and fatter male (castrate) carcasses had a higher temperature at pH 6 and higher % high rigor temperature. Modelling showed that if the time to reach pH 6 in the longissimus muscle was 65 v. 105 min, the % high rigor temperature carcasses reduced from 98 to 19% in grain-fed cattle and 93 to 7% in grass-fed cattle. Higher plasma insulin levels at slaughter were associated with a higher temperature at pH 6 (rigor temperature) (P < 0.001). In conclusion, in order to reduce the incidence of high rigor temperature in grain-fed beef carcasses, methods for identifying high rigor temperature carcasses will be required and while some management strategies can be implemented now, others require further research. © 2014 CSIRO.


Riffkin P.,DPI Victoria | Potter T.,SARDI Aquatic Sciences Center | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2012

Area and production of canola (Brassica napus L.) in the High Rainfall Zone (HRZ) of southern Australia has increased significantly over the past decade. Varieties available to growers have not been bred specifically for the HRZ and are generally adapted to the drier regions of the cropping belt. Field experiments were conducted at Hamilton in south-west Victoria in 2005, 2006 and 2008 to identify canola traits and management suited to the HRZ of southern Australia. Nine varieties with different reported maturities (winter and spring types) were sown at either two times of sowing and/or under different nitrogen (N) fertiliser regimes. Dates of key phenological development were recorded, dry matter was determined at bud, flowering and maturity and grain yield and yield components were determined at harvest. Plant traits and climate data were assessed in relation to grain yield. Yields of the winter types were either significantly (P0.05) greater or not significantly less than the spring types in all 3 years and similar to those reported under experimental conditions in Europe. This was despite the winter types flowering up to 35 days later than the spring types and spring rainfall being approximately half that of the long-term average. In general, the winter types had greater early vigour, greater dry matter production at the bud, flowering and maturity stages and were taller than the spring types. Regression analysis showed positive relationships between grain yield and pod density and plant size (dry matter and plant height). Plant size was influenced by variety, time of sowing and N fertiliser application rates. Crops in the HRZ were able to sustain more seeds per pod at larger canopy sizes and pod densities than those achieved in the northern hemisphere. Despite the number of pods per g of dry matter at flowering being nearly double that reported in the UK, there was little apparent reduction in the number of seeds per pod. It is possible that higher solar radiation and warmer minimum temperatures in the HRZ of Australia provide conditions more favourable for growth before, and during grainfill. This indicates that different dry matter production and yield component targets may be appropriate for canola in this environment especially in more typical seasons. It is likely that growers will need to sow new, later maturing varieties earlier and with higher rates of N fertiliser than is current practice in Australia. This study indicates that winter types may have the potential to provide improvements to the yield of canola in the HRZ either through the direct importation of varieties from overseas or through the identification and incorporation of desired traits into existing material. It is recommended that a wider range of germplasm be assessed over a greater geographical area to identify traits and management practices to optimise phenology and canopy structure. This information can be used to help inform breeders on crop improvement priorities as well providing tailored management practices to maximise grain yields for this environment. © 2012 CSIRO.


Hughes J.M.,CSIRO | McPhail N.G.,CSIRO | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road | Clarke F.,Griffith University | And 2 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2015

Optimal beef meat colour is associated with increased consumer acceptance, whereas dark or pale meat has a reduced desirability. Dark beef also has a variable eating quality and reduced shelf-life. We hypothesised that a poor meat colour at carcass grading would generate an unacceptable eating quality after vacuum-packed chilled storage for up to 20 weeks, due to the unfavourable pH conditions commonly associated with light and dark muscles. At three beef processing plants, beef longissimus muscles from 81 pasture-and grain-fed cattle (mix of Bos taurus and Bos indicus × Bos taurus) were graded at ∼24 h post-slaughter for meat colour. The carcasses were allocated to light, medium and dark colour groups, with n ≤ 27 carcasses per colour group. From the 81 carcasses, a total of 162 longissimus lumborum (LL) muscles was collected and half LLs were randomly allocated to three ageing times (2, 12, 20 weeks) within colour group and six half LLs were used per colour group within storage period and plant. Vacuum-packed muscles were stored at-1.0 ± 0.5°C for the designated period and sampled for biochemical and sensory assessments. The effects of colour group, storage week and carcass traits were analysed. Dark muscles had higher pH than the lighter ones (P < 0.05). The carcass trait dentition, feed type and fat depth did not influence the eating quality (P > 0.05). After 2, 12 and 20 weeks of vacuum-packed chilled storage; eating quality was similar for all 3 meat-colour groups (P > 0.05). With increasing storage time, all eating-quality attributes improved (P < 0.001 for all). Lipid oxidation increased with storage time and although values at 20 weeks were slightly above accepted levels for rancidity detection, MQ4 scores indicated that the meat would still be categorised as a three-star product, indicative of the opportunity to store the longissimus lumborum (LL) for this length of time, while maintaining an acceptable eating quality, regardless of meat colour at carcass grading. © 2015 CSIRO.


Hughes J.M.,CSIRO | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road | Warner R.D.,CSIRO
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

Unacceptable meat colour scores at the time of carcass grading are associated with reduced meat quality and consumer rejection. We hypothesised that the meat colour at carcass grading would be influenced by the pH and temperature decline post slaughter, as these would be determined by animal and processing factors. Beef carcasses (n ≤ 1512) at seven Australian processing plants were assessed, at grading, for the meat colour of the M. longissimus thoracis. Statistical modelling determined the animal, carcass and processing factors contributing to the meat colour score at carcass grading. The occurrence of unacceptably dark meat dropped from 8 to 3% when the time of grading was increased from 14 to 31 h post slaughter (P < 0.01). A high temperature at pH 6 (rigor temperature), high final pH (pHF), pasture feeding and older animals were associated with dark M. longissimus thoracis at carcass grading (P < 0.05 for all). Less than 30% of carcasses with non-compliant pHF displayed a dark non-compliant meat colour >3, indicative of an opportunity to determine the mechanism behind this pH-induced colour development and thus reduce the incidence of non-compliance. It is recommended that when there is a high occurrence of carcasses with a dark meat colour >3 that the time from slaughter to grading is checked to ensure carcasses are in full rigor at the grading point. This will assist in minimising economic penalties due to dark-coloured carcasses. Finally, animal factors, such as maturity and feeding regime also had a considerable impact on the meat colour at carcass grading. © 2014 CSIRO.


McCaskill M.R.,Jobs | Kearney G.A.,36 Paynes Road
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2016

Temperate pastures that leak water below the root zone have been linked to an increase in dryland salinity in southern Australia through their conservative use of stored water. An experiment was conducted at Hamilton in south-western Victoria to test the hypothesis that deep-rooted, summer-active perennial pasture species can substantially reduce leakage. On topographic crests the experiment compared lucerne and chicory with a traditional perennial ryegrass variety with low summer activity, whereas on the poorly drained valleys the comparison was between tall fescue, kikuyu and a perennial ryegrass variety with high summer activity. Lucerne developed a buffer of dry soil to a depth of at least 5m. An empirical relationship with June-September rainfall indicated that with this dry buffer, leakage below the root zone would not occur even in the wettest of years. Chicory developed a dry buffer to the depth of measurement (3m), but plant density gradually declined and leakage started to occur 5 years after sowing. The perennial ryegrass with low summer activity had leakage nearly every year. On the valleys kikuyu was initially the most effective at drying the soil in summer, but its density declined at the expense of annuals and 3 years after sowing it became wetter than the other treatments. None of the pasture options on the valley fully controlled leakage, but both the summer-active perennial ryegrass and tall fescue were persistent and there was little difference in their capacity to extract summer moisture. This study showed that four characteristics were associated with a pasture that controlled leakage - summer activity, persistence, adequate density and deep rootedness. Of the species tested only lucerne satisfied all these criteria. © CSIRO 2016.

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