What Influences the Quality of Beef?

Posted by Princess Royal Station on Dec 16, 2016 4:29:50 PM

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What does influence the quality of beef? Why is some beef considered to be of a higher quality? We go through just some of the factors that influence the quality of your beef. 

Animal Welfare:

Firstly, stress and the general welfare of livestock will have a large impact on beef quality. Stress will alter the chemistry of the muscles of cattle which will result in tough beef with less flavour. 
This is the main reason why animal welfare and the general well-being of our livestock at Princess Royal is a main priority for our livestock team. 

We have many plans and procedures in place that help to minimise stressors such as fear, excessive noise and especially harm.

If you would like to read more about these initiatives click here: How we care for our livestock. 


In recent years, Black Angus beef has become a renowned for its quality. Black Angus beef is often associated with tenderness and a great flavour. But why? Angus Australia say that Angus and Angus cross breeds receive a premium price because of their consistent performance in a wide range of markets. 

Angus cattle as a breed are versatile, they are more efficient due to their ability to put on weight without becoming fat, they mature quickly and can breed more regularly. They are also great mothers, and Angus cattle have a great reputation for their consistently for producing high-quality beef. Princess Royal have two EU accredited Black Angus herds. For more information on our EU Angus Breeding program, click here: Princess Royal Station, Breeders.  



Hereford breeds are recognisable for their red coats and white faces. They are a British breed and are well-known in the cattle industry for their passive temperament. This results in less stress, higher quality beef and lower handling costs. Hereford Australia say that because of their docile temperament, Hereford breeds can gain weight faster than other breeds. This also means that they have a great feed conversion weight, saving money for producer's. 
Hereford beef is of a high quality and is naturally tender. With the right feeding program, genetics and proper care, Hereford beef is delicious, juicy and tender. 

The Droughtmaster breed is well-known for their ability to withstand the harsh conditions of much of Australia’s pastoral land. The breed has evolved from crossbreeding of Bos Taurus (Brittish Breeds) and Bos Indicus breeds. Similarly, to The Angus and Hereford breeds, Droughtmaster cattle have good maternal instincts, calve easily and reach maturity quite quickly.

There are obviously many other breeds that all have different qualities that will alter the quality of the beef that they produce. But it’s not just down to the breed, there are other factors at play. 

Genetics and Breeding: 

The genetics of a herd and the quality of the producers breeding program also plays a part in the quality of the beef. High-quality genetics are sought after to ensure consistency and superiority of the producers herd. A breeding program takes years to develop and is carefully monitored by the producer to ensure that interbreeding is avoided and that different heard's aren’t mixed. 


Grain Fed Vs. Grass Fed Beef:

There are many differences between grain fed and grass fed beef.  Producers choose to produce grain fed beef over grass fed beef for a variety of reasons. Both grass fed and grain fed contain many excellent nutrients, including iron, zinc, omega-3s, protein, B vitamins, selenium and vitamin D. Grass fed beef has slightly higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ALFA, 2015).

Feedlots that produce grain fed beef offer a number of environmental benefits because of the increased efficiencies that they provide. Feedlots require less land and cattle which results in less less stress placed on the environment and less green house gas emissions.

"In fact, research has shown that grain fed beef requires; 45% less land, 76% less water, 49% less feed, while generating 51% less manure and 42% less carbon emissions" (ALFA, What Happens on a Feedlot?, 2015).

Feedlot's offer consistency and are highly regulated to ensure that the beef that is being produced within the feedlot complies with all state and federal regulations and legislation. 

We monitor all of the livestock in our care very closely to ensure that we are producing the highest quality beef available. Learn more about our feedlot here: Princess Royal Feedlot.



MSA Grading Standards:

Meat Standards Australia (MSA) is a system that was developed by the red meat industry. MSA is based on approximately 700,000 taste tests by over 100,000 consumers from nine different countries. The MSA grading standards were developed to improve the consistency of red meat and considers all of the factors that affect the eating quality of red meat.

Princess Royal is MSA accredited, which means that the quality of the beef that we produce meets the highest standard for tenderness, juiciness and flavour.

MSA beef is graded according to its eating quality by accredited graders who collect information from the producer, processor as well as the individual carcas attributes using the MSA uniform set of standards.

MSA produce reports from research that they conduct using the information from all MSA licensed producers and processors helping to move the whole industry forward. Click here for more information about the Meat Standards Australia.  IMG_5430.jpg

Topics: Angus, Beef, Feedlot, Animal Welfare, Farming, Grain Fed Beef, Australian Beef, Breeds, Care, Black Angus, Quality, Genentics

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