Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Agriculture Scientists Building Better Beef

15.03.2011
It is a lesson taught in every school: Quality can be judged by one¡¯s grade, and scientists with Oklahoma State University¡¯s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are working to help beef producers get the best meat grade possible.

¡°Marbling is white flecks of fat within the meat muscle,¡± said Gerald Horn, OSU Graduates of Distinction professor in beef nutrition and management. ¡°The greater the amount of marbling in beef, the higher its grade because marbling makes beef more tender, flavorful and juicy.¡±

USDA Prime beef ¨C approximately 2 percent of graded beef ¨C has the highest levels of fat marbling, so it is the most tender and flavorful. Most of the graded beef sold in supermarkets is USDA Choice or USDA Select. The protein, vitamin and mineral content of beef are similar regardless of the grade.

¡°Nutrition and management practices that increase intramuscular fat deposition relative to other fat depots have the potential to decrease production of excess fat, improve the efficiency of beef production and be beneficial to the U.S. beef industry in meeting the growing world demand for high-quality beef cuts,¡± Horn said.

Intramuscular fat deposition develops early during growth, and can be influenced by pre-feedyard management practices. All cattle start out eating grass; approximately 75 percent of them are eventually shipped to feedyards where they are grown to maturity, or "finished," being fed specially formulated grain-based diets.

¡°Rate of weight gain is a key determinate of profitability in stocker cattle operations,¡± Horn said. ¡°In general, breakeven selling price decreases as average daily gain increases.¡±

The objective of Horn and the DASNR research team was to examine the effect of forage energy intake and type of ruminal fermentation on growth performance, partitioning of fat among depots and carcass characteristics of stocker cattle. An important outcome of this research will be an increased understanding of the physiological mechanisms by which muscle growth and metabolism influence marbling development.

¡°Our research showed stocker cattle production programs that result in higher rates of gain and/or higher ruminal propionate concentrations increase marbling and backfat,¡± he said. ¡°At moderate to high rates of gain, backfat increases more rapidly than marbling; this indicates that moderate rates of gain during the stocker phase could enhance marbling relative to backfat.¡±

Horn said while there were wide ranges in marbling scores and backfat thickness at the end of the grazing program, marbling scores at the end of the finishing phase were not different when the steers were slaughtered at a common backfat endpoint.

However, days on feed during the finishing phase of the DASNR research project ranged from 83 days to 138 days.

¡°Greater average daily gain during the stocker phase is important for decreasing breakeven prices and increasing profitability in the feedlot,¡± Horn said. ¡°This is particularly important during this new era of higher grain prices and increased cost of gain in the feedlot.¡±

The potential effects of nutrition-management practices on marbling development are not just a matter of increasing fat. Of the four fat depots in the body ¨C visceral, intermuscular, subcutaneous and marbling ¨C the last one to develop is marbling.

¡ñ Acetate serves as the primary source of energy or ¡°substrate¡± for subcutaneous fat, whereas glucose serves as the primary substrate for marbling. Propionate is the primary precursor of glucose.

¡ñ High-quality forages such as wheat pasture provide more ruminal propionate than low-quality dormant forages, and supplementation of corn for cattle grazed on dormant native range increases propionate production.

Academic and industry studies that address the question of nutrition-management practices on marbling development historically have been conducted during the feedlot phase of production. This present DASNR study is unique in that it focuses on factors influencing marbling development during the stocker phase.

In addition to Horn, research team members include OSU¡¯s Clint Krehbiel, Phillip Lancaster, Udaya DeSilva, Gretchen Hilton, Evin Sharman and Texas Tech University¡¯s Jessica Starkey.

Oklahoma State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating; Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, and is an equal opportunity employer.

Donald Stotts | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.okstate.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>