Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beef Researchers Probe Quality And Safety Issues

Date:
April 12, 1999
Source:
Texas Tech University
Summary:
Animal scientists at Texas Tech University are exploring methods that could produce beef at higher standards of quality and consistency. They also are investigating techniques to make beef products safer for consumers.

LUBBOCK - Animal scientists at Texas Tech University are exploring methods that could produce beef at higher standards of quality and consistency. They also are investigating techniques to make beef products safer for consumers.

One subject of study is how to make beef more tender prior to slaughter. Many methods already exist for tenderizing meat during processing. A key factor in tenderness relates to the amount of calcium in an animal's muscle tissue. For that reason, the scientists are exploring the effects of quantities of vitamin D fed to the animals. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and retention.

"We did a study last spring in which we looked at various doses of vitamin D fed to the animals ten days before slaughter," said Michael Galyean, Ph.D., Thornton Distinguished Professor of Animal Science, in Texas Tech's animal science and food technology department. "Subsequently, after the animals were slaughtered, we did all the routine tests for grading. We also did shear tests on the steaks to determine tenderness." A shear test is performed with a special blade on a core sample of a piece of meat, and determines how much force is necessary to cut through the sample.

The results of the study were marginal, said Galyean. The basic finding was that tenderness didn't necessarily improve on an average basis. We were able to narrow the variation, or inconsistency, in tenderness from animal to animal, within a given group," Galyean said. "We're taking the ones that are tough and making them more tender, but the ones that already are tender aren't showing much change."

Because of some negative effects that the high doses of vitamin D have on the animals, Galyean says further study is necessary to get the full picture. At around five days of the vitamin injections, most animals cease feeding, according to Galyean. The researchers will work to fine tune the dosage and number of days the vitamin is administered in order to minimize the negative effects.

Galyean expects a much more comprehensive study to begin this summer involving three breeds of cattle that historically generate different tenderness levels of beef. "We'll look at a group of British breed cattle which we expect to be fairly tender, the Brahman cattle which we would expect to be tougher, and then a cross-bred group which we would refer to as Continental, the Charolais and Limousin-types."

All of the cattle will be managed in exactly the same manner and fed identical diets, said Galyean. The only variable will be the dosages and timing of the vitamin D.

Other trials being conducted by Texas Tech food technology researchers deal with growth implants in cattle. Already used industry-wide, the use of growth implants is an accepted practice. These implants usually contain an extremely low level of estrogen or androgen, implanted in the ear of the animal. Studies show health risks to the consumer are virtually non-existent. According to Galyean, "Cattlemen can benefit greatly by using implants because of their amazing effects on the efficiency and rate of weight gain. The implants reduce the number of pounds of feed required for efficient gain, or uses the same amount of feed for a higher rate of gain."

Again, Galyean says his team is trying to regulate the dosage and timing of the implant to minimize the negative effects on tenderness, instances of "dark cutters" or cuts of meat that appear darker in color than normal, and of quality grade. "These types of implants will move an animal from a choice grade down to a select grade, which demands a lower price," explained Galyean.

Regarding beef safety, Galyean said the department has future plans for research on e-coli contamination. "The problem with e-coli contamination is that it's not in the meat. It is in the animal's intestinal tract," explained Galyean. "If the carcass is contaminated with feces or with intestinal contact, that's when the e-coli gets into the meat. It's more of a processing problem."

Galyean said other bacteria could be added to the diet to compete with e-coli, and either eliminate or significantly reduce the instances of e-coli contamination. That study could begin as early as this fall.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas Tech University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas Tech University. "Beef Researchers Probe Quality And Safety Issues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990412074630.htm>.
Texas Tech University. (1999, April 12). Beef Researchers Probe Quality And Safety Issues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990412074630.htm
Texas Tech University. "Beef Researchers Probe Quality And Safety Issues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990412074630.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins