Scope and method of study. The objectives of this study were to evaluate color stability of top sirloin butt steaks from cattle that have been fed a beta-agonist, Zilpaterol Hydrochloride, ZilmaxRTM, when placed in either modified atmosphere packages or polyvinylchloride film packages. The current study compared the effects on top sirloin butt steaks fabricated from beef and dairy steers supplemented for 0 d, 20 d, 30 d, or 40 d. One-half of the subprimals were enhanced and three 2.54 cm steaks (d 1, 3, and 5) from each enhanced subprimal were packaged under modified atmosphere packaging (80% O2/20% CO2). The other half of the subprimals were aged for a total of 21 d and then three 2.54 cm steaks (d 1, 3, and 5) were fabricated from each unenhanced subprimal and packaged under polyvinylchloride (PVC) film packaging. Packages were evaluated for color attributes and discoloration. Findings and conclusions. While this study documents that slight differences do exist in color stability in each packaging environment, traditional overwrap and MAP, the differences are not of a magnitude of concern. If recommending a period of supplementation of Zilpaterol Hydrochloride, 20 to 30 d would be suggested to result in, on average, the brightest, reddest steaks possible. Further research could be conducted to further investigate the differences between 20 and 30 d of supplementation and the impact on color.
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