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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

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

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
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.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
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.


3.Progress Report
In FY 2010, research was conducted to expand the functionality of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) noninvasive tenderness prediction system. This research showed that on-line visible and near infrared (VISNIR) tenderness classification of beef carcasses based on evaluation of the ribeye during carcass grading with the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system allows for identification of carcasses that excel in tenderness (lower slice shear force) of longissimus, semimembranosus, gluteus medius, biceps femoris, adductor, and semitendinosus. Additionally, we obtained similar results with application of VISNIR directly to the exposed gluteus medius on the anterior end of top sirloin subprimals either during carcass fabrication or after aging. This suggests that this technology could be utilized by virtually all segments of the industry to control variation in tenderness. This study is going to greatly enhance the industry’s ability to understand the potential impact of implementing the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system. This will likely lead to more widespread adoption, which should facilitate branded beef programs, which should increase consumption of U.S. beef.

A series of trials were completed showing that pork loin tenderness could be predicted with the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system. Thus, a large-scale commercial test was conducted in four commercial packing plants. On-line classification of pork loins for tenderness based on VISNIR spectroscopy using a commercially-available system (the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system) and a regression model that we previously developed was effective at identifying a class of loins that were more consistently tender.


4.Accomplishments
1. Noninvasive tenderness prediction system can accurately predict tenderness of most major beef muscles. The U.S. beef industry and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) have sought implementation of standards for tenderness claims. To this end, industry and AMS need instrumentation to noninvasively predict tenderness of meats. Previously, USDA-ARS scientists at Clay Center, NE, had developed a noninvasive method to predict tenderness of the ribeye muscle of beef carcasses based on visible and near infrared (VISNIR) spectroscopy. Under a trust agreement between ARS and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, ARS scientists at Clay Center, NE, determined that the existing system could also predict tenderness of other muscles of the carcass. Additionally, we obtained similar results with application of VISNIR directly to the exposed gluteus medius on the anterior end of top sirloin subprimals either during carcass fabrication or after aging. These results suggest this technology could be utilized by virtually all segments of the industry to control variation in tenderness, which will greatly enhance the industry’s ability to understand the potential impact of implementing the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system. This will likely lead to more widespread adoption, which should facilitate branded beef programs and increase consumption of U.S. beef.

2. Noninvasive tenderness prediction system can accurately predict tenderness of pork loins. As the Agricultural Marketing Service has sought implementation of standards for tenderness claims, the pork industry has sought methods to control variation in tenderness. Thus, ARS scientists at Clay Center, NE, have cooperated with the industry to determine if the U. S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) noninvasive tenderness prediction system could be applied to pork. A series of trials were completed showing that pork loin tenderness could be predicted with the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system. Thus, under a trust agreement between ARS and the National Pork Board, ARS scientists at Clay Center, NE, conducted a large-scale test in four commercial packing plants. On-line classification of pork loins for tenderness based on visible and near infrared (VISNIR) spectroscopy using a commercially-available system (the USMARC noninvasive tenderness prediction system) and a regression model that we previously developed, was effective at identifying a class of loins that were more consistently tender.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Training materials were developed to facilitate use of slice shear force procedure for tenderness testing by small scale meat processing companies.


Review Publications
King, D.A., Shackelford, S.D., Kuehn, L.A., Kemp, C.M., Rodriguez, A.B., Thallman, R.M., Wheeler, T.L. 2010. Contribution of Genetic Influences to Animal-to-Animal Variation in Myoglobin Content and Beef Lean Color Stability. Journal of Animal Science. 88:1160-1167.

Garcia, M.D., Thallman, R.M., Wheeler, T.L., Shackelford, S.D., Casas, E. 2010. Effect of Bovine Respiratory Disease and Overall Pathogenic Disease Incidence on Carcass Traits. Journal of Animal Science. 88(2):491-496.

Riley, J.M., Schroeder, T.C., Wheeler, T.L., Shackelford, S.D., Koohmaraie, M. 2009. Valuing Fed Cattle Using Objective Tenderness Measures. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 41(1):163-175.

King, D.A., Wheeler, T.L., Shackelford, S.D., Pfeiffer, K.D., Nickelson, R., Koohmaraie, M. 2009. Effect of Blade Tenderization, Aging Time, and Aging Temperature on Tenderness of Beef Longissimus Lumborum and Gluteus Medius. Journal of Animal Science. 87:2952-2960.

Kemp, C.M., King, D.A., Shackelford, S.D., Wheeler, T.L., Koohmaraie, M. 2009. The Caspase Proteolytic System in Callipyge and Normal Lambs in Longissimus, Semimembranosus, and Infraspinatus Muscles During Postmortem Storage. Journal of Animal Science. 87:2943-2951.

King, D.A., Shackelford, S.D., Wheeler, T.L., Pfeiffer, K.D., Mehaffey, J.M., Miller, M.F., Nickelson, R., Koohmaraie, M. 2009. Consumer Acceptance and Steak Cutting Yields of Beef Top Sirloin and Knuckle Subprimals. Meat Science. 83:782-787.

King, D.A., Wheeler, T.L., Shackelford, S.D., Koohmaraie, M. 2008. Chapter 3. Fresh Meat Texture and Tenderness. In: Kerry, J.P., Ledward, D., editors. Improving the Sensory and Nutritional Quality of Fresh Meat. Cambridge, England: Woodhead Publishing Limited. p. 61-88.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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