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Calpain System, Collagen Network and Meat Tenderness


<p>Examine the effect of management strategies (nutrition, growth pomotants, breed selection) on satellite cell, fibroblast and preadipocyte progenitor cell activity. Examine the effect of management strategies (nutrition, growth pomotants, breed selection) on molecular mechanisms of meat quality and palatability.</p>

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<p>Tenderness is the number one attribute consumers consider when deciding the quality of their eating experience. This cooked meat characteristic is mainly affected by the myofibrillar proteins and connective tissue content. Connective tissue is responsible for the background toughness of meat products and is not easily resolved using post-mortem aging and processing techniques. Therefore, strategies must be developed to decrease connective tissue content and connective tissue crosslinking to improve tenderness of beef products. Platter et al. (2005) estimated that for every 1 kg increase in shear force, there is a $1.02 decrease in the amount the consumer is willing to pay for beef products. These data suggest that while the quantity of meat produced is important, there is an emerging demand for beef that meets consumer preference. This also signals that customers are willing to pay a premium for beef of superior quality. In a series of studies, our team will use molecular methods, cell culture, and traditional meat science methodologies to examine the effect of management techniques on meat quality. We will utilize these results to expand the current literature and educate producers through extension activities and publications. We ultimately aim to explain the biological mechanisms responsible for meat quality in beef and pork. </p>

Gonzalez, John; Houser, Terry; Unruh, John; Boyle, Elizabeth
Kansas State University
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