pH is a measurement of lactic acid present in the meat. A high pH can hurt the beef’s tenderness, color, shelf life and overall eating qualities.
Minimizing stress and ensuring cattle have a good diet to ensure good energy levels are key to achieving pH in the ideal range.
Marbling (intramuscular fat) helps ensure moist, tender, delicious beef.
Farmers improve marbling by providing cattle with a healthy, high quality diet and minimizing stress. Genetics also play a significant role, so farmers can selectively breed to elevate the quality of their herd.
Ossification is the process of cartilage turning to bone, an indicator of cattle aging. As cattle age, muscle fibers become more rigid, so if the bone is ossified, the meat will be tougher.
Well fed cattle with genetics for fast growth rates will reach the target processing weight at a younger age.
A rich red color is the ideal for quality beef. Minimizing cattle stress plays a significant role in ensuring this color.
Americans have been conditioned by grain-fed beef to expect fat to be pearl white in color, instead of the yellow tinge that can happen with grass-fed beef. Reserve beef is graded for white fat.
Cattle breed and nutrition can both have an impact on fat color.
Rib fat is subcutaneous fat around the muscle. A higher level of rib fat will ensure better, more even temperature across the beef when chilling. This results in better looking, better tasting beef. Improving herd genetics and ensuring the animals graze on higher quality pasture with consistent nutrition helps ensure a good amount of rib fat.
It is believed that there is a direct correlation between eye muscle size and overall carcass yield & value – making large eye muscles a worthwhile goal to breed towards in the future.
Careful selective breeding (through sire selection) can be used to improve it.
Silver Fern Farms’ Reserve program is the finest grass-fed beef in the world. When you carry the program, you also get marketing & training support to help you tell its story & sell it. This can include training slide decks, ride-withs for distributor staff, customized point of sale marketing material, signage & more. Let us know what works for you!