In this study, 20 young steers received no beta-agonist (C), 100 animals all received zilpaterol hydrocholoride (Z), with 1 group only receiving Z while the other 4 groups received zilpaterol and vitamin D3 at the following levels (IU/animal/day) and durations before slaughter: 7 million for 3 days (3D7M); 7 million for 6 days (6D7M); 7 million for 6 days with 7 days nor supplementation (6D7M7N) and 1 million for 9 days (9D1M). Left carcass sides were electrically stimulated (ES) and the right side not stimulated (NES). Samples were aged for 3 or 14 days post mortem. Parameters included Warner –Bratzler shear force (WBSF), myofibril filament length, sarcomere length and calpastatin and calpain enzyme activity.
Both ES and prolonged aging reduced WBSF (P<0.001). 6D7M, 6D7M7N and Z remained significantly tougher than C (P<0.001), while 3D7M and 9D1M improved WBSF under NES conditions. ES is more effective to alleviate beta-agonist induced toughness than high vitamin D3 supplements.