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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Research Project #433172

Research Project: Strategies to Optimize Meat Quality and Composition of Red Meat Animals

Location: Meat Safety and Quality

Project Number: 3040-31430-006-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Aug 1, 2017
End Date: Jul 4, 2022

Objective 1: Develop strategies to manage and improve variation in meat quality, composition, and healthfulness traits. Sub-objective 1.A: Identification of genetic markers for myoglobin content of pork muscles to increase redness of pork products. Sub-objective 1.B: Estimate effects of three maternal lines and two mating systems on lamb carcass merit. Sub-objective 1.C: Genomic control of dark cutting and other beef quality traits. Sub-objective 1.D: Genomic control of pork fat quality and fatty acid profile. Sub-objective 1.E: Identify and validate novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) for beef lean color stability. Sub-objective 1.F: Determine the effect of VQG' pork loin grading camera tenderness class on optimal aging time of boneless pork loins. Sub-objective 1.G: Impact of backgrounding strategies on beef carcass merit. Sub-objective 1.H: To determine the effects of replacing tylosin phosphate (Tylan®) with an essential oil containing limonene in the diet of finishing beef cattle on carcass characteristics. Objective 2: Characterize biological variation in meat quality, composition, and healthfulness traits. Sub-objective 2.A: Determine the impact of sire line on the meat quality defect characterized by a band of very pale, almost white, muscle tissue on the superficial portion of ham muscles (halo). Sub-objective 2.B: Characterize the effect of muscle metabolic efficiency, particularly in mitochondrial efficiency on beef tenderness and lean color stability attributes across varying pH classes in beef carcasses exhibiting normal lean color. Sub-objective 2.C: Determine if there are metabolomic differences between tender and tough beef across postmortem aging times. Sub-objective 2.D: Identification of differentially expressed proteins in beef longissimus steaks classified as tender with stable lean color during simulated retail display compared to steaks classified as tough with labile lean color during simulated retail display. Sub-objective 2.E: Develop technologies for measuring and predicting important traits relating to meat product quality and consistency and the biological mechanisms that control these traits.

The overall goal of this project is to develop approaches to improve quality and healthfulness while reducing the variation in meat products. This will be accomplished by providing the red meat industries with the information and tools necessary to facilitate equitable valuation of carcasses and meat, improve the quality and consistency of meat, and optimize carcass and meat composition of beef, pork, and lamb. The two objectives of this project address needs in improving consistency of quality, composition, and healthfulness of red meat products by developing strategies and instrumentation to manage and improve these traits using basic and applied research approaches. Genetic and genomic strategies will be developed that may be combined with animal and meat management strategies to optimize quality and composition traits. Research will be conducted using proteomics and other biochemical tools to characterize variation in quality and composition as well as to evaluate and facilitate implementation of instrumentation for measuring or predicting value determining traits such as carcass grade traits, tenderness, lean color stability, and fat quality.