The objective of this study was to characterize meat quality in Bos taurus and Bos indicus and to determine the influence of finishing system and genetic group on the physicochemical properties of the longissimus thoracis at 24 hours and 10 days post mortem (1ºC). The sample included 160 bulls of the B. taurus (n=75) and B. indicus (n=85) groups, finished either on pasture (n=46) or with grain supplementation (n=114), slaughtered at a carcass weight of 270 to 300 kg. Pasture-finished animals had higher pH, lower red content and a fat content 2.5 times lower than those finished with supplementation. Meat from supplement-finished animals had lower shear force in comparison to that from animals finished on pasture, with means of 7.7 and 8.5 kg at 24 hours, and of 5.5 and 5.9 kg at 10 days, respectively. Samples of B. taurus and B. indicus were similar in moisture and protein, but B. taurus presented higher means for ash and lower means for fat. Aged samples of B. indicus finished on pasture showed lower values for lightness and yellowness. Overall, lightness and yellow content increased and red content decreased with 10-day ageing. Means for shear force were lower in B. taurus than in B. indicus, with differences of 1.4 kg in fresh meat and 0.6 kg in aged samples. The reduction in shear force with ageing was more pronounced in samples with higher initial shear force, in spite of the positive relationship between shear force before and after ageing.
beef; finishing system; genetic group; meat quality