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DNA test predicts tenderness in beef

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the chief

Well-known member
Feb 17, 2005
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DNA test predicts tenderness in beef

1/27/2006, 9:58 AM CST

Toughness is an admirable quality in ranchers, but it's less popular in the end product of their work. Inadequate tenderness is one of the top three beef quality issues facing the cattle industry, according to the National Beef Quality Audit.

"In the past there were few options to control and guarantee tenderness," Jim Gibb, senior manager, beef segment development for MERIAL® IGENITY said in a release on Thursday. A new IGENITY tool called TenderGENE could help, using a single sample of an animal's DNA.

"Now with IGENITY TenderGENE, we have a powerful, proven and accurate tool - valuable for all breed types, including Bos indicus cattle - to select specifically for tenderness," Gibb said.

The new IGENITY TenderGENE profile analyzes multiple DNA markers associated with calpain and calpastatin genes - all with a proven effect on Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF), the most common method of measuring beef tenderness.

Calpain and calpastatin interact to regulate the weakening of muscle fibers during the post-mortem aging process.

It is this post-mortem aging process that largely dictates tenderness in the end products that eventually reach the consumer. (Too bad consumers won't be able to use this information since they are not allowed to know where their meat comes from.)

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