Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2055


Animal Products

Summary and Implications

Improving tenderness of beef from cows is desirable because it could increase marketability of these carcasses and, thereby, increase profits to producers. In this study, two dietary treatments, supplemental 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH D3) and manipulations of dietary calcium, were examined as methods of increasing plasma and muscle calcium concentrations as a means for improving tenderness of beef. Our results indicate that the environment created in the muscle by supplementing 25-OH D3, increasing dietary calcium, or both is conducive to increased activity of calpain, a calcium-dependent enzyme responsible for postmortem tenderization of beef. Increased calpain activity could lead to improved beef tenderness.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University