Meat tenderness mechanisms
Energy status of muscle at slaughter to identify and study PSE and DFD phenomena
Meat colour and shelf life studies
Fat profile and marbling in meat
Other related issues in animal products.
Histology laboratory has a fully equipped Video Image Analyses System for studying meat structure histology such as sarcomere lengths, myofibrillar fragmentation, meat fibre breaks, fibre typing and fibre areas, and any other meat quality related measurement such as marbling, water holding capacity and muscle areas.
The Biochemistry laboratory has a computerised low pressure liquid chromatography system and other related equipment such as centrifuges, spectrophotometers, etc. in order to study enzyme mechanisms and connective tissue characteristics involved in meat tenderness and meat colour.
The Proteomics laboratory is fully equipped with isoelectrofocusing, electrophoresis and imaging equipment in order to handle single and 2 dimensional gel electrophoreses and Western blotting and software to analyse protein patterns in order to study proteins involved in above mentioned study areas.
In order to study the stability of fats we have a computerised Rancimat and to study meat colour and related measurements we have a Portable Minolta CM-600d colour measuring spectrophotometer.
Most of the projects we do are in collaboration with other sections such as Slaughter and Carcass Evaluation, Sensory Analyses, Meat Technology and Food Safety and Quality as part of the Meat Science Team. We have collaboration associations with internal (ARC) and external research institutions such as University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, University of Stellenbosch, USDA (USA), Norfima (Norway), RMRDSA, SAPPO, NERPO, and others.
Evaluation of meat tenderness of indigenous South African cattle breed: Influence of collagen and the calpain system on tenderness and ageing potential.
Consistency of Quality – 11th International Meat Symposium – 29 and 30 January 2003.
Model to determine the pre- and post-slaughter conditions for A-age (feedlot and pasture), AB-age (feedlot and pasture) and B-age (pasture) crossbred animals from three beef breeds (Brahman-X, Simmentaler-X, and Nguni-X) for optimum meat tenderness (The Tenderness Model)
The effect of genotype on beef colour, surface morphology (texture), pathology, shelf life, tenderness and juiciness. (Genotype and beef attributes).
Pig Leanness Insulin-like growth factor 2 gene status in South Africa
Proteomics to determine protein markers to identify potential tender carcasses.
Determination of slaughter conditions to optimise chevon (goat meat) visual and eating quality
The effectiveness of genomic markers in predicting the meat tenderness in pure beef genotypes under South African production and slaughter conditions.