Beef Eating Quality Index
The world’s first national multi-breed genomic evaluation for sensory-based meat eating quality has been launched at the Meat Technology Ireland Centre, Ashtown, Dublin. One of the main objectives of its research was to generate a database of genetically diverse animals for meat eating quality.
This database contains accurate national genomic evaluations pertinent to the Irish cattle population. Sensory data collected on over 6,000 cattle, which began in November 2016, now resides within the database making it the largest such database globally used for genetic evaluations.
The database has been realised through strong collaboration between the meat industry, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation and Teagasc in the delivery of the world’s first national multi-breed genomic evaluation for sensory-based meat eating quality.
The launch of the Meat Eating Quality index means that meat eating quality of the Irish national herd will systematically improve through genetic improvement without sacrificing important breeding traits. This will ensure that consumers of Irish beef around the world can expect the very best dining experience.
It is an important milestone in the development of the Meat Technology Ireland initiative. The index will be essential in delivering continuous improvement over time in terms of meat eating quality. Given the challenges currently facing the wider sector, this initiative will be important in helping exporters continue to secure the best export outlets possible for our beef.