The investigations were performed on carcasses of Black-and-White cows classified according to the official EUROP system into conformation classes R (5 carcasses), O (13 carcasses), and P (3 carcasses), as well as into fat classes 2 (6 carcasses), 3 (5 carcasses), and 4 (8 carcasses). The basic chemical composition of meat and its physicochemical and sensory properties were determined based on the samples collected from m. longissimus dorsi. The investigations showed that the weight of cow half-carcasses classified into class R was approximately by 20 kg and by 50 kg bigger than the weight of half-carcasses classified into class O and P, respectively. The percentage content of dry matter and total protein in meat was comparable in the meat of all the carcasses, but the meat from carcasses of classes O and P contained significantly more fat than the meat from carcasses of class R. The pH values of the meat from the investigated carcasses showed satisfactory pH values (5.69 to 5.73) and similar colours; only a higher exudation of meat juices was found in the meat of the carcasses of class O. The meat of all the quality classes was scored similarly for its tenderness and juiciness. Along with the grade rise in the fat class, the weight of carcasses increased by approximately 10 kg. While analysing the chemical composition of meat, it was found that the percentage content of total protein in the meat from carcasses of class 3 was higher compared to carcasses of class 2. Furthermore, the content of fat and the marbling increased significantly in the meat from carcasses of class 4 compared to carcasses of class 2 and 3. The pH values of meat were similar in all the fat classes analysed (5.81 to 5.88). The colour of the meat from carcasses of class 4 was the darkest, and the meat from carcasses of class 2 received the highest scores for its juiciness.
cows, EUROP classification system, meat quality