A meta-analysis of zilpaterol and ractopamine effects on feedlot performance, carcass traits and shear strength of meat in cattle

A meta-analysis of zilpaterol and ractopamine effects on feedlot performance, carcass traits and shear strength of meat in cattle.

Abstract

This study is a meta-analysis of the effects of the beta-agonists zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) and ractopamine hydrochloride (RAC) on feedlot performance, carcase characteristics of cattle and Warner Bratzler shear force (WBSF) of muscles. It was conducted to evaluate the effect of the use of these agents on beef production and meat quality and to provide data that would be useful in considerations on the effect of these agents on meat quality in Meat Standards Australia evaluations. We conducted a comprehensive literature search and study assessment using PubMed, Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, Scirus, and CAB and identification of other studies from reference lists in papers and searches. Searches were based on the key words: zilpaterol, zilmax, ractopamine, optaflexx, cattle and beef.

Studies from theses obtained were included. Data were extracted from more than 50 comparisons for both agents and analysed using meta-analysis and meta-regression. Both agents markedly increased weight gain, hot carcase weight and longissimus muscle area and increased the efficiency of gain:feed. These effects were particularly large for ZH, however, fat thickness was decreased by ZH, but not RAC. Zilpaterol also markedly increased WBSF by 1.2 standard deviations and more than 0.8 kg, while RAC increased WBSF by 0.43 standard deviations and 0.2 kg. There is evidence in the ZH studies, in particular, of profound re-partitioning of nutrients from fat to protein depots. This work has provided critically needed information on the effects of ZH and RAC on production, efficiency and meat quality.

 

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