October 11, 2020


New study reveals molecular signatures that enhance beef tenderness



A new study reveals the main molecular signatures contributing to beef tenderness, as well as provides key insights into the interconnectedness among various pathways and processes in the muscle, which are pivotal in producing high-quality beef.


The research, led by Dr Mohammed Gagaoua from the food quality and sensory science department at Ireland's Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), is the first of its kind and has provided clarity on the most consistently and robustly identified biomarkers for beef tenderness, Beef Central reports.


It gathered data from 28 independent experiments worldwide, initially identifying a comprehensive list of 124 biomarkers, the report said, adding that from these biomarkers, the authors shortlisted 33 robust candidates worthy of evaluation to develop future meat tenderness predictive tools.


"This study has revealed the relevance in the order of importance of muscle contractile and structure proteins, energy metabolism proteins, response to stress proteins and oxidative stress proteins in the determination of beef tenderness," Dr Gagaoua said.


The study noted that muscle structure, energy metabolism and cellular responses to stress and oxidative stress are the main pathways underpinning beef tenderness determination.


Dr Anne Maria Mullen, co-author of the study, said that while many advances had been realised in improving beef eating quality, unexplained variation remained.


Declan Troy, also co-author and assistant director of research at Teagasc, stressed that bringing together vast studies in an applications-focused manner addressed gaps in knowledge and technology to "greatly increase the efficiency of the beef industry… on a global level".


"This study has the potential to be of tremendous value to the beef industry worldwide," he said.