The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for carnitine, creatine, creatinine, carnosine, and anserine concentration in LM and to evaluate their associations with Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and beef palatability traits. Longissimus muscle samples from 2,285 Angus cattle were obtained and fabricated into steaks for analysis of carnitine, creatine, creatinine, carnosine, anserine, and other nutrients, and for trained sensory panel and WBSF assessments. Restricted maximum likelihood procedures were used to obtain estimates of variance and covariance components under a multiple-trait animal model. Estimates of heritability for carnitine, creatine, creatinine, carnosine, and anserine concentrations in LM from Angus cattle were 0.015, 0.434, 0.070, 0.383, and 0.531, respectively. Creatine, carnosine, and anserine were found to be moderately heritable, whereas almost no genetic variation was observed in carnitine and creatinine. Moderate positive genetic (0.25, P < 0.05) and phenotypic correlations (0.25, P < 0.05) were identified between carnosine and anserine. Medium negative genetic correlations were identified between creatine and both carnosine (-0.53, P< 0.05) and anserine (-0.46, P < 0.05). Beef and livery/metallic flavor were not associated with any of the 5 compounds analyzed (P > 0.10), and carnitine concentrations were not associated (P > 0.10) with any of the meat palatability traits analyzed. Carnosine was negatively associated with overall tenderness as assessed by trained sensory panelists. Similar negative associations with overall tenderness were identified for creatinine and anserine. Painty/fishy was the only flavor significantly and negatively associated with creatinine and carnosine. These results provide information regarding the concentration of these compounds, the amount of genetic variation, and evidence for negligible associations with beef palatability traits in LM of beef cattle.
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