Meat-eating quality characteristics such as tenderness, juiciness and flavour are becoming increasingly important in maintaining demand for beef products, as recently highlighted by Teagasc research geneticist, Donagh Berry.
Speaking at Teagasc’s National Beef Conference in Claremorris, Co. Mayo on Tuesday, December 10th, Berry said that “national genetic evaluations for meat-eating quality could soon be available in Ireland”.
He explained that Ireland, will, therefore, be one of the world leaders in this area and currently boasts the largest database globally of meat sensory data on genotyped cattle assessed by trained panels.
“Although large breed differences in meat-eating quality are evident, up to 15 per cent of the within-breed, differences in meat-eating quality are due to genetic differences.”
“While single gene solutions are being marketed as being able to differentiate products on meat tenderness, they account for only a very small proportion of the underlying variation and are therefore not reliable,” he added.