High-tech science may slowly be making its way into our restaurant kitchens and bars, with centrifuges and liquid nitrogen, and it looks like DNA testing might be the next wave.
Science Daily reports that the meat industry may just get a dose of DNA tests to determine the quality of beef you can buy on store shelves. A team of French researchers, led by Jean-François Hocquette at the Herbivore Research Unit of the National Agronomic Research Institute, have sifted through to find more than 3,000 genes that somehow impace a meat's texture, flavor, and juiciness. "These genes belong to different families: those which regulate fat, connective tissue, and protein contents of muscles, respectively," Hocquette said.
After finding these genes, the researchers developed a DNA chip that can analyze the activity of the genes in beef samples, meaning almost any type of beef will get a taste rating. To test, they had a panel taste test the same beef samples and give a score.
When comparing the gene test and the taste test, the researchers found that better gene scores meant better taste scores. In fact, the study reports in the journal Biomed Central Veterinary Research, some of the genes accounted for up to 40 percent for the difference in tenderness in samples. So perhaps better tasting meat has to do with both animal-raising technique as well as heritage? Explains a lot about Kobe beef, then.