Beefier cattle benefit consumers, industry May 27, 2010 New research shows that beef yields are higher from more muscular cattle without affecting meat quality. Murdoch University scientist Peter McGilchrist, working at the Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies, said until now it was unknown whether selecting for muscular stock in breeding programs was affecting meat quality. The ability to consistently deliver better meat will add millions of dollars to the beef industry bottom line and the new research findings are likely to drive selective breeding programs. Mr McGilchrist tested the hormone sensitivities of muscular and fat cattle and muscle sugars critical to meat quality, finding that muscular animals had more glycogen, a compound that increases the acidity of meat, making it more tender and moist, as well as giving it the bright cherry-red colour favoured by consumers. The research, conducted at the Murdoch-based centre with industry collaborators, also showed that muscular cattle were more insulin sensitive, allowing them to store more glycogen after eating, and they were also less susceptible to stress, helping reduce the depletion of muscle glycogen during mustering, transport and yarding before slaughter. “Intense genetic selection for more muscle and less fat in other meat production species has resulted in pale, soft and dry meat that is unacceptable to consumers,” Mr McGilchrist said. “But fears that selection for muscular cattle might increase the number of animals with dark, firm and dry beef are unfounded.” Mr McGilchrist is one of eight early career scientists invited to present their research results at the Pathfinders Conference, organised by the Cooperative Research Centres Association. The CRCA represents Australia’s 50 CRCs operating under a federal government program to drive public/private sector research. Print This Post Media contact: Jo Manning Tel: (08) 9360 2474 | Mobile: 0408 201 309 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Research, Animal and plant studies, environment and bioinformatics, agriculture, school of veterinary and biomedical sciences Tags: beef, beef industry, cattle, cooperative research centre for beef genetic technologies, meat, meat quality, peter mcgilchrist Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!