Mateescu's Animal Genetics and Genomics Lab
Beef Cattle Healthfulness Value
Beef is a highly nutritious and valued food. It is a rich source of protein and micronutrients (vitamins A, B6, B12, D, and E, iron, zinc, selenium and more). Although beef is perceived as having high fat content with undesirable composition, i.e., high percentage of saturated fatty acids (SFA), there are many nutrients in beef that have a positive effect on human health: monounsatured fatty acids (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, magnesium.
While beef is already a good source of nutrients, the potential to further enhance its nutritional and health value is enormous. It is our contention that U.S. consumers will become increasingly supportive of food sources that they believe help them live a healthier life.
Ongoing research is focusing on characterizing the nutritional and health value of beef from Bos Indicus influenced cattle. The goals are to determine the extent to which phenotypic variation is controlled by genetics and to develop genomic tools that will allow identification of genetically superior animals with respect to these traits and use this information for selection, management and marketing.