Intramuscular variation in mitochondrial functionality of beef semimembranosus

M. N. Nair, R. Ramanathan, G. Rentfrow, S. P. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Intramuscular color stability variations in beef semimembranosus have been reported previously. Mitochondria remain biochemically active in postmortem muscle and can influence fresh beef color stability. However, the role of mitochondrial functionality in intramuscular color variations in beef semimembranosus is yet to be examined. We examined the functionality of mitochondria isolated from outside (OSM) and inside (ISM) regions of beef semimembranosus. Semimembranosus muscles (n = 5) were collected from inside rounds of beef carcasses 48 h post-mortem and were separated to OSM and ISM steaks. Color attributes were evaluated instrumentally and biochemically on days 0 and 4 of retail display, whereas mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR) was measured on day 0 using succinate as substrate using steaks frozen during fabrication. Mitochondrial OCR was significantly greater in OSM than in ISM on day 0. The ISM steaks exhibited significantly greater redness (a* value) than OSM steaks on day 0, but OSM steaks had significantly greater redness than the ISM counterparts on day 4. During retail display, ISM steaks exhibited greater lightness (L* value) than OSM steaks. However, OSM demonstrated significantly greater color stability and metmyoglobin reducing activity than ISM throughout the display. The observed differences in mitochondrial OCR between ISM and OSM steaks indicated that mitochondrial biochemistry possibly contributes to the intramuscular color variations in beef semimembranosus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-639
Number of pages5
JournalSouth African Journal of Animal Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This is publication number 17-07-050 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the director. This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch-Multistate Project 1008755.


  • Beef color
  • Color stability
  • Mitochondria
  • Semimembranosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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