Effects of different mineral supplementation programs on beef cattle serum Se, Zn, Cu, Mn concentration, health, growth performance and meat quality

  • Carlo Angelo Sgoifo Rossi
  • Silvia Grossi Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento VESPA
  • Riccardo Compiani
  • Gianluca Baldi
  • Maria Agovino
  • Luciana Rossi
Keywords: cattle, minerals, performance, health, meat quality


The effects of different mineral sources (organic vs inorganic) on beef cattle serum Se, Zn, Cu, Mn concentration, health, growth performance and meat quality (hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, conformation score, fattening score and pH) were assessed in 156 intact Charolaise males. The aim of the study was to investigate a possible ameliorative action of the organic sources of those minerals compared to the inorganic ones, essential for animal welfare and productivity.

The animals were allotted to three treatment groups, receiving different sources (organic or inorganic) of minerals and at different levels. H-In received a mineral supplementation from an inorganic source using the average mineral inclusion used according to the European beef system. The TRT group received an organic source based on producer recommendations (TRT, Total Replacement Technology, Alltech). The In group received minerals from an inorganic source, but following the same amount as the TRT group.

Growth performance and health status were monitored throughout the fattening period (186 days). Blood samples were evaluated in relation to mineral serum concentrations, antioxidant status and immunity reactions. After slaughtering, carcass characteristics and meat quality of Longissimus dorsi samples were evaluated.

Growth performance and health status were better in the TRT groups (P<0.05). The incidence of Bovine Respiratory Disease was also lower in this group. The animals in the TRT group had a better immune response (P<0.05) due to the higher circulating mineral concentrations which positively influence the immune function. In addition, carcass characteristics were better in the TRT group because of the enhanced myogenesis (P<0.05). Meat quality was better in the TRT group due to the higher level of antioxidants in the meat (P<0.05).

The results suggest that organic sources have a strong impact on animals’ metabolism and immune function, that result in an improvement in growth performance, health and antioxidant status together with carcass and meat quality.

Original Articles