​ ​ ​ ​ ​Biochemistry2.pngBiochemistry1.pngFood Science and Technology
Dairy Technology
Meat Technology
Slaughter and Carcass Evaluation

The Biochemistry Section forms part of the Meat Science team and specialises in histological, physiological, and biochemical methodology including proteomics and genomics to study:

  • Meat tenderness mechanisms

  • Energy status of muscle at slaughter to identify and study PSE and DFD phenomena

  • Meat colour and shelf life studies

  • Fat profile and marbling in meat

  • Other related issues in animal products.

We have highly qualified research personnel, and modern equipped research laboratories.  Our flagships are:

Histology laboratory has a fully equipped Video Image Analyses System for studying meat structure histology such as sarcomere lengths, myofibrillar fragmentation, meat fibre breaks, fibre typing and fibre areas, and any other meat quality related measurement such as marbling, water holding capacity and muscle areas.

The Biochemistry laboratory has a computerised low pressure liquid chromatography system and other related equipment such as centrifuges, spectrophotometers, etc. in order to study enzyme mechanisms and connective tissue characteristics involved in meat tenderness and meat colour.

The Proteomics laboratory is fully equipped with isoelectrofocusing, electrophoresis and imaging equipment in order to handle single and 2 dimensional gel electrophoreses and Western blotting and software to analyse protein patterns in order to study proteins involved in above mentioned study areas.

In order to study the stability of fats we have a computerised Rancimat and to study meat colour and related measurements we have a Portable Minolta CM-600d colour measuring spectrophotometer.

Most of the projects we do are in collaboration with other sections such as Slaughter and Carcass Evaluation, Sensory Analyses, Meat Technology and Food Safety and Quality as part of the Meat Science Team.  We have collaboration associations with internal (ARC) and external research institutions such as University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, University of Stellenbosch, USDA (USA), Norfima (Norway), RMRDSA, SAPPO, NERPO, and others.

Some examples of projects that we successfully completed or are still conducting are the following:

  • Evaluation of meat tenderness of indigenous South African cattle breed:  Influence of collagen and the calpain system on tenderness and ageing potential. 

  • Consistency of Quality – 11th International Meat Symposium – 29 and 30 January 2003. 

  • Model to determine the pre- and post-slaughter conditions for A-age (feedlot and pasture), AB-age (feedlot and pasture) and B-age (pasture) crossbred animals from three beef breeds (Brahman-X, Simmentaler-X, and Nguni-X) for optimum meat tenderness (The Tenderness Model)

  • The effect of genotype on beef colour, surface morphology (texture), pathology, shelf life, tenderness and juiciness.  (Genotype and beef attributes). 

  • Pig Leanness Insulin-like growth factor 2 gene status in South Africa

  • Proteomics to determine protein markers to identify potential tender carcasses. 

  • Determination of slaughter conditions to optimise chevon (goat meat) visual and eating quality

  • The effectiveness of genomic markers in predicting the meat tenderness in pure beef genotypes under South African production and slaughter conditions.

Contact details: 

  • Dr Lorinda Frylinck    012 672 9385 Lorinda@arc.agric.za
  • Hanlie Snyman            012 672 9349  Hanlie@arc.agric.za
  • Jocelyn Anderson        012 672 9354  Jocelyn@arc.agric.za
  • Kgantjie Moloto          012 672 9316  Molotok@arc.agric.za
  • Kedibone Modika       012 672 9116  Mokikak@arc.agric.za