Half-castration is a newly effective method for increasing yield and tenderness of male cattle meat

  • Hoa, Van-Ba (Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Song, Dong-Heon (Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Seol, Kuk-Hwan (Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kang, Sun-Moon (Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Hyun-Wook (Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA) ;
  • Jang, Sun-Sik (Hanwoo Research Institute, National Institute of Animal Science) ;
  • Cho, Soo-Hyun (Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA)
  • Received : 2021.12.07
  • Accepted : 2022.01.18
  • Published : 2022.08.01


Objective: For improving meat quality especially tenderness, male cattle are usually castrated to removes both the testicles. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect castration method (half- and complete-castration) on meat yield and quality characteristics of Hanwoo male cattle. Methods: Thirty-two similar age (5.9 months) Hanwoo male calves were divided into: half-castration (HC) and complete-castration (CC) groups (n = 16 per group). At 7 months of age, all the animals were castrated in which the HC calves had only one testicle surgically removed while, the CC calves had both testicles surgically removed. The castrated animals were reared under identical conditions until 25 months of age. After slaughter, the carcasses were evaluated for carcass traits and meat yield of primal cuts. For examination of the castration effect on meat quality, L. lumborum and semimembranosus muscles were used. The meat samples were analyzed for chemical composition, color, pH, shear force and water holding capacity, fatty acids, metabolites and volatile aroma compounds. Results: The HC group showed higher meat yields of all primal cuts (p<0.05). As a result, the total meat yield was higher by approximately 44 kg in the HC group (303.32 kg, corresponding to 67.88%) compared to the CC group (259.30 kg, corresponding to 62.11%) (p<0.05). In terms of meat quality, the HC resulted in two times greater fat content in both muscles examined compared to intact males. More importantly, the shear force values did not differ between HC and CC groups for L. lumborum muscles (p>0.05). The meat from HC animals exhibited higher amount of free amino acids associated with sweetness (p<0.05). Furthermore, the castration method only exhibited a negligible effect on metabolites and volatile aroma compounds in the cooked meat. Conclusion: Half-castration emerged as an alternative practice to be used for increasing the yield and tenderness of male cattle meat.



This research work was carried out the support of "Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science and Technology Development (Project No. PJ014229)" Rural Development Administration, Korea.


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