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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: STRATEGIES TO OPTIMIZE CARCASS YIELD AND MEAT QUALITY OF RED MEAT ANIMALS

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Project Number: 5438-31430-004-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Aug 15, 2007
End Date: Jul 31, 2012

Objective:
1. Develop and evaluate non-invasive instrumentation to predict value determining characteristics of meat. a. Develop and evaluate non-invasive instrumentation to measure maturity and lean color for on-line quality grade determination of beef carcasses. b. Continue improving our non-invasive instrumentation to predict meat tenderness and expand its capabilities to include use on multiple quality grades, muscles, and species. c. Develop technology to predict and improve lean color stability in beef. d. Determine the relationship between instrumental assessment of beef carcass yield grade and wholesale rib dissection-based estimates of beef carcass retail product yield. 2. Develop strategies to optimize meat quality and composition traits of meat. a. Develop strategies to improve the value of underutilized muscles. b. Validate that the µ-calpain and calpastatin tenderness markers that were developed and have been verified in structured research populations will be efficacious when applied to the diverse genetics, management systems, and harvesting conditions that occur in the U.S. beef industry. c. Determine the level of differences among lamb breeds in biochemical traits controlling variation in tenderness and develop strategies to exploit these differences to optimize lamb quality and carcass composition.

Approach:
The VBG2000 image analysis system will be used to develop measurements for carcass maturity and lean color for quality grade determinations of beef carcasses. The VBG2000 system will be used to obtain instrumental measurement of retail product yield for use in genomic analyses. Non-invasive meat tenderness prediction will be expanded to include measurement on U.S. Choice beef carcasses, pork loins, and muscles in addition to longissimus. Strategies to predict and improve lean color stability of beef will be developed. The relative role of connective tissue, muscle shortening, and postmortem proteolysis and their interaction with one another on tenderness of various muscles will be used to develop muscle specific quality improvement strategies to overcome both within and among muscle variation. These strategies may include combinations of antemortem management and genetics utilization as well as postmortem processing methods, marination, and cooking methods to optimize meat tenderness. The µ-calpain and calpastatin tenderness markers that were developed and have been verified in structured research populations will be validated to be efficacious when applied to the diverse genetics, management systems, and harvesting conditions that occur in the U.S. beef industry. The level of differences among lamb breeds in biochemical traits controlling variation in tenderness will be determined and strategies to exploit these differences to optimize lamb quality and carcass composition will be developed.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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