Make it medium rare and low in Hsp 40

7th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 6, 2007 (AFP) - French biotech sleuths believe they have identified a gene that helps determine whether your steak will be tough or tender.

PARIS, Sept 6, 2007 (AFP) - French biotech sleuths believe they have identified a gene that helps determine whether your steak will be tough or tender.

The gene, DNAJA1, was spotted in lab experiments on entrecote meat taken from 14 young Charolais bulls, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) said at a press conference here on Thursday.

DNAJA1 controls a key protein called Hsp 40 which helps to slow cell death in muscle tissue -- it thus brakes the process of maturation which tenderises the beef.

Variants of DNAJA1 crank out high or low levels of Hsp 40.

The range is so wide that the variants in this gene account for 63 percent of the difference in meat tenderness, INRA researcher Jean-Francois Hocquette said.

The agency has patented the discovery in the hope that in future, a simple gene test will enable farmers to identify those cows and bulls that will deliver tenderer meat.

AFP

Subject: French news

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