Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382673

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

Location: Meat Safety and Quality

Title: Meat tenderness: Advances in biology, biochemistry, molecular mechanisms and new technologies

Author
item WARNER, ROBYN - MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY
item Wheeler, Tommy
item HA, MINH - MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY
item LI, XIN - CHINESE ACADEMY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
item BEKHIT, ALAA EL-DIN - UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO
item MORTON, JAMES - LINCOLN UNIVERSITY - NEW ZEALAND
item VASKOSKA, ROZITA - MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY
item DUNSHEA, FRANK - MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY
item LIU, RUI - YANGZHOU UNIVERSITY
item PURSLOW, PETER - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE
item ZHANG, WANGANG - NANJING AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2021
Publication Date: 8/14/2021
Citation: Warner, R.D., Wheeler, T.L., Ha, M., Li, X., Bekhit, A., Morton, J., Vaskoska, R., Dunshea, F.R., Liu, R., Purslow, P., Zhang, W. 2021. Meat tenderness: Advances in biology, biochemistry, molecular mechanisms and new technologies. Meat Science. 185. Article 108657. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2021.108657.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2021.108657

Interpretive Summary: Meat tenderness is a quality trait critical to consumer acceptance and determines satisfaction, repeat purchase, and willingness-to-pay premium prices. The aim of this review was to explore recent advances in meat tenderness research in relation to underlying mechanisms and approaches to ensure tenderness. Current understanding of biochemical processes affecting tenderness from harvest to consumption are presented. Emerging technologies for increasing meat tenderness are discussed as well as areas for further research.

Technical Abstract: Meat tenderness is an important quality trait critical to consumer acceptance, and determines satisfaction, repeat purchase and willingness-to-pay premium prices. Recent advances in tenderness research from a variety of perspectives are presented. Our understanding of molecular factors influencing tenderization are discussed in relation to glycolysis, calcium release, protease activation, apoptosis and heat shock proteins, the use of proteomic analysis for monitoring changes, proteomic biomarkers and oxidation/nitrosative stress. Each of these structural, metabolic and molecular determinants of meat tenderness are then discussed in greater detail in relation to animal variation, postmortem influences, and changes during cooking, with a focus on recent advances. Innovations in postmortem technologies and enzymes for meat tenderization are discussed including their potential commercial application. Continued success of the meat industry relies on ongoing advances in our understanding, and in industry innovation. The recent advances in fundamental and applied research on meat tenderness in relation to the various sectors of the supply chain will enable such innovation.