Genetics trial for meat tenderness is global first

Teagasc’s Donagh Berry is working to develop a ground-breaking, world first genetics test which could predict the tenderness of an animal’s offspring.

Dr Berry was a guest on last night’s episode of Ten Things to Know About … Beef and Beer, a science series on RTÉ One.

Dr Berry said: “Unlike most other interventions, genetics is cumulative and permanent, implying that benefits obtained in meat quality through breeding are built upon year-on-year. 

“Breeding is well accepted to have delivered progress in many traits so now is the time to apply the technology to meat quality.”

Meanwhile, fellow Teagasc researcher Paul Allen said the manner in which animals are handled after slaughtering is a big factor in the eating quality of the meat. 

He explained his research during a visit to a meat factory to test a number of post-mortem factors which are said impact hugely on the final taste.

Dr Allen said: “While what happens on the farm is very important, what happens after an animal is delivered to the factory has the biggest influence on eating quality.

“If the carcass is not handled correctly by the processor a potentially good steak can be spoiled.”


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