Proteomic approaches to characterize biochemistry of fresh beef color

Surendranath P. Suman, Yifei Wang, Mohammed Gagaoua, Frank Kiyimba, Ranjith Ramanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Color of retail fresh beef is the most important quality influencing the consumers' purchase decisions at the point of sale. Discolored fresh beef cuts are either discarded or converted to low-value products, before the microbial quality is compromised, resulting in huge economic loss to meat industry. The interinfluential interactions between myoglobin, small biomolecules, proteome, and cellular components in postmortem skeletal muscles govern the color stability of fresh beef. This review examines the novel applications of high-throughput tools in mass spectrometry and proteomics to elucidate the fundamental basis of these interactions and to explain the underpinning mechanisms of fresh beef color. Advanced proteomic research indicates that a multitude of factors endogenous to skeletal muscles critically influence the biochemistry of myoglobin and color stability in fresh beef. Additionally, this review highlights the potential of muscle proteome components and myoglobin modifications as novel biomarkers for fresh beef color. Significance: This review highlights the important role of muscle proteome in fresh beef color, which is the major trait impacting consumers’ purchase decisions. In recent years, innovative approaches in proteomics have been exploited for an in-depth understanding of the biochemical mechanisms influencing color development and color stability in fresh beef. The review suggests that a wide range of factors, including endogenous skeletal muscle components, can affect myoglobin biochemistry and color stability in beef. Furthermore, the potential use of muscle proteome components and myoglobin post-translational modifications as biomarkers for fresh beef color is discussed. The currently available body of evidence presented in this review can have important implications in meat industry as it provides novel insights into the factors influencing fresh beef color and an up-to-date list of biomarkers that can be used to predict beef color quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104893
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - Jun 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture , U.S. Department of Agriculture , Hatch-Multistate Project 7003954 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Beef color
  • Mitochondrial proteome
  • Myoglobin
  • Post-translational modifications
  • Proteome candidate biomarkers
  • Sarcoplasmic proteome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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