of Glasgow confirms the beneficial properties of pure
pedigree Highland beef, previously studied in 1997 by Dr
Ivy Barclay amongst others.
Samples of sirloin were taken from all over Scotland and
from Yorkshire for the study, funded by the Highland
Cattle Society from the Queen’s Jubilee Trust, a charitable
fund set up for educational purposes. A rapid slice shear
force test determined the tenderness of the samples and
chemical analysis included measurements of moisture
(juiciness), iron, protein and cholesterol content.
Pure Highland beef was shown to be almost 23% more
tender than commercial beef, scoring, at 83.27, well
below the 100 which benchmarks meat as “very tender”.
Compared with commercial meat, pure Highland meat
contains almost 7% more protein and almost 17% more
iron, averaging over 4% less cholesterol. Intramuscular
fat, low in saturated fat and seen as marbling through the
meat, gives Highland beef its tenderness, succulence and
An interesting finding was the lack of expected correlation
between fat content and cholesterol levels. Comparison
of diets and the effect of more intensive rearing might
explain this result.
Charles is to be congratulated on this fascinating and
informative work, which forms a foundation for possible
future investigation. The full report may be obtained from
the society office.