Agrilife Research Scientist Shares International Experience in Beefing Up Meat Quality


Dr. Stephen Smith, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University in College Station, spoke about his international efforts to help bolster the beef industry at a recent seminar on the Texas A&M campus.

Smith, at the invitation of the Norman Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture, shared information with institute staff and others interested in international agriculture about his years of research and practical experience studying beef cattle from Australia, Japan, Korea and China.

He said his study of Angus cattle in Australia that first showed him how the quality of beef fat could be affected by what cattle were fed, as well as their genetics.

Smith said Shogo Takeda, owner of Takeda Farms in Hokkaido, Japan, once told him marbling and fatty acid composition are “about 60 percent genetics and 40 percent production.”

While pasture-raised Angus cattle in the U.S. and other countries produce a leaner beef, he said, the fat composition of that beef is higher in saturated fat and trans fats.

Smith said cattle raised in Japan and Korea, where the animals are fed more corn, produce a more marbled beef with a “healthier” type of fat.

Smith’s lecture was part of an ongoing seminar series held by the Borlaug Institute. The series runs through each semester and is meant to raise awareness of global agricultural initiatives in accordance with the institute’s mission of increasing the world’s food supply while developing agricultural economies. More information can be found at

posted by Tiffany Haslacker

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