Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 2, 2005
Publication Date: March 10, 2006
Citation: Solomon, M.B., Eastridge, J.S., Paroczay, E.W. 2006. Bioengineering of Farm Animals: Meat Quality and Safety. In: Nollet, L.M.L., Toldra, F., editors. Advanced Technologies for Meat Processing. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. p. 1-20. Interpretive Summary: Biotechnology is the implementation of biological sciences for the improvement of technology. Use of science for the improvement of muscle foods has involved natural selection of dominant traits, selection of preferred traits by crossbreeding, the use of endogenous and exogenous growth factors and ultimately gene manipulation to produce desirable changes in meat/carcass quality and yield. Until recently, improvements in the quality of meat products that reached the marketplace were largely the result of postharvest practices. A wide range of biotechnology strategies for altering the balance between lean and adipose tissue growth and deposition in meat-producing animals is available. These include genetic selection and management (production) strategies. More recently, the use of biotechnology in producing farm animals is primarily achieved by transgenesis and/or cloning giving rise to a technological revolution for altering growth and development in meat-producing animals. Animal cloning is a method used to produce genetically identical copies of a selected animal, while transgenesis is the process of altering an animal’s genome by introducing a new, foreign gene with the ultimate goal of producing an animal expressing a beneficial function or superior attribute.
Technical Abstract: Potential for the manipulation of growth and composition of farm animals has never been greater than at present due to the wide array of strategies for altering the balance between lean and fat. Discoveries of gene manipulation techniques (transgenic animals), and most recently cloning, offer a wide range of strategies. Animal cloning is a method used to produce genetically identical copies of a selected animal, while transgenesis is the process of altering an animal’s genome by introducing a new, foreign gene with the ultimate goal of producing an animal expressing a beneficial function or superior attribute. Although progress is being made, much more needs to be accomplished. Eating quality and food safety must not be compromised as meat animals are designed and developed using these biotechnological approaches.