Producer Question from 2009
Q: Have read that barley fed to beef cattle results in more flavorful beef. As corn is generally used, is there any truth to feeding barley over corn for better product flavor? (November 9, 2009)
A: I know of no scientific evidence that feeding barley to beef cattle results in more flavorful beef. I am attaching a paper written by Dr. J.D. Tatum of Colorado State University where he explains there are few differences between barley and corn-fed beef. When differences exist, they tend to favor corn. In a recent paper in the scientific journal Meat Science (Vol. 80, P. 857-863, Nov. 2008) corn-fed beef had higher flavor intensity than barley-fed beef. However, Canadian consumers preferred barley-fed beef, so it appears to be related to what you are used to eating. Our own research shows a U.S. consumer preference for corn-fed U.S. beef over Canadian barley-fed beef in blind taste tests.
This is the manuscript: Physical and sensory characterization and consumer preference of corn and barley-fed beef. W.V. Wismer a,*, E.K. Okine a, A. Stein b,1, M.R. Seibel c,1, L.A. Goonewardene a; Meat Science 80 (2008) 857–863