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Breakthrough in the regulation mechanism of fresh meat quality

Source:Meat Processing and Quality Control Research Team

The percentage of defected meat, including drip loss, colour and texture deterioration, is as high as 8-10% in China during fresh meat processing, storage and logistics, which is higher than that in developed countries. Hence, losses reducing, quality and freshness preservation are difficult problems and hot topics in meat industry in China. Based on more than 10 years research, the Meat Processing and Nutrition Research Team concludes that regulation of energy metabolism and protein post translational modifications at early postmortem is a new thread and pathway to solve this problem.


The Meat Processing and Nutrition Research Team leads the exploration that protein phosphorylation negatively regulates meat quality. Specifically, ATP, the marker of energy metabolism, promotes protein post translational modifications, such as phosphorylation and acetylation, and consequently influences meat quality. The ice-temperature (-1.5 oC) not only extends fresh meat shelf- life through inhibiting metabolic enzymes activities, but also improves meat quality through delaying and inhibiting the level of protein phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate a novel mechanism of meat quality regulation regarding to energy metabolism, protein post translational modifications and their interaction. The team successfully developed ice-temperature based fresh meat quality preservation technology and applied it in the meat industry in China. The Meat Processing and Nutrition Research Team has gotten eight fundings from the National Natural Science Foundation, published 51 scientific papers which account for more than 50% publications in this field, and the top three highest citation articles are all published by this team. The achievements of Meat Processing and Nutrition Research Team is highly recognized by domestic and international members of the profession.


Recently, the National Natural Science Foundation of China announced the result of funding application in 2020. The Meat Processing and Nutrition Research Team obtains funding of one Key Program, three General Programs and one Young Scientists Fund. This team will further conduct in-depth research into the molecular mechanism of the energy metabolism and protein post translational modifications interaction regulating meat quality at early postmortem based on the awarded funding, which will build a foundation for establishing meat quality regulation theory for Chinese meal models and eating habits.


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