Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beef cattle to steak: DNA analyses may predict how beef will taste once it reaches our palate

Date:
November 7, 2012
Source:
youris.com
Summary:
DNA analyses may help select the best breeds by predicting how beef will taste once it reaches our palate.

Using state-of-the art genomics to predict whether a piece of beef will be tender enough may sound excessive. Until now, the meat industry has been using low-tech methods to assess beef quality, based on carcass weight, hanging method and pattern of muscle fat stripes, also known as marbling. However, traditional approaches may lack competitiveness at an industrial scale. "The meat industry needs more precise and consistent ways to predict the quality of beef before it reaches the shelves," Geraldine Duffy, said. She is the Head of food safety at the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Dublin, Ireland, who coordinates the EU-funded project Prosafe Beef.

As a part of the project, about 3,000 genes involved in muscle biology were selected by Jean-Franηois Hocquette and his group at the Herbivore Research Unit of the National Agronomic Research Institute (INRA) in Theix, France, after mining the scientific literature. These candidates may have an impact on tenderness, flavour and juiciness: three main parameters that influence meat quality. "These genes belong to different families: those which regulate fat, connective tissue and protein contents of muscles, respectively," remarks Hocquette.

An additional family of genes associated with meat quality is that of so-called "heat shock protein(HSP)" genes, the researchers found. They are also known to be involved in processes such as tissue damage and death.

These findings are "interesting and encouraging [...] and the association of heat shock protein (HSP) genes with meat tenderness is convincing," HasanKhatib said. He is an associate professor at the department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. However, he adds: "since HSP genes are involved in so many other processes in the cell, I still do not have a comprehensive idea on how animals will be selected in breeding programs based on [these genes]."

The work of the French team led to the development of a DNA chip, capable of quickly analysing the selected genes' activity in beef muscle samples. In parallel, a panel of experts tasted the same beef samples and gave a score on their quality. They then compared the two sets of data, from genetic and more mundane sensory appreciation.The results,recently published on the journal Biomed Central Veterinary Research, show that genetic analysis can indeed help to predict the quality of meat. Some of the genes analysed in the study accounted for up to 40% of the variability in tenderness between different samples.

"The next step will be to combine all these markers and use an algorithm to predict meat quality more precisely," comments Hocquette. Some genetic tests for meat quality are already available, but they rely only on a few markers and do not work for most breeds used in the EU, he adds.Ultimately, one of the scientists' goals is now to establish a consumer-oriented label of certification that would include genetic criteria.

Luciano Pinotti,a professor at the department of Veterinary Sciences and Technology for Food Safety of the University of Milan, Italy, welcomes the application of genomics to meat quality selection: "[the]'omics' approach to meat quality is innovative, and may lead to long term improvements."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

youris.com. "Beef cattle to steak: DNA analyses may predict how beef will taste once it reaches our palate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107122558.htm>.
youris.com. (2012, November 7). Beef cattle to steak: DNA analyses may predict how beef will taste once it reaches our palate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107122558.htm
youris.com. "Beef cattle to steak: DNA analyses may predict how beef will taste once it reaches our palate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107122558.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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