Agriculture and Food Chemistry

Postmortem skeletal muscle metabolism of farm animals approached with metabolomics



Skeletal muscle metabolism regulates homeostatic balance in animals. The metabolic impact persists even after farm animal skeletal muscle is converted to edible meat through postmortem rigor mortis and aging. Muscle metabolites resulting from animal growth and postmortem storage have a significant impact on meat quality, including flavor and color. Metabolomics studies of postmortem muscle aging have identified metabolisms that contain signatures inherent to muscle properties and the altered metabolites by physiological adaptation, with glycolysis as the pivotal metabolism in postmortem aging. In addition to major postmortem metabolisms, such as amino acid generation, metabolomics has played a role in mining relevant postmortem metabolisms and pathways that have recently been revealed, such as the citrate cycle and mitochondrial metabolism. This leads to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the generation of key compounds that are associated with meat quality. Genetic background, feeding strategy, and muscle type primarily determine skeletal muscle properties in live animals and affect post-mortem muscle metabolism. With comprehensive metabolite detection, metabolomics is also beneficial for exploring biomarker candidates that could be useful to monitor meat production and predict the quality traits. The present review focuses on advances in farm animal muscle metabolomics, especially postmortem muscle metabolism associated with genetic factors and muscle type.


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