Metabolomics analysis of the beef samples with different meat qualities and tastes

Jin Young Jeong1, MinSeok Kim3, Sang-Yun Ji1, Youl-Chang Baek1, Seul Lee1, Young Kyun Oh1, Kondreddy Eswar Reddy1, Hyun-Woo Seo2, Soohyun Cho2, Hyun-Jeong Lee1,*
Author Information & Copyright
1Animal Nutrition & Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Wanju 55365, Korea.
2Animal Products Utilization Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Wanju 55365, Korea.
3Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Hyun-Jeong Lee, Animal Nutrition & Physiology Team, National Institute of Animal Science, Wanju 55365, Korea. E-mail:

© Copyright 2020 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Dec 02, 2019 ; Revised: Mar 20, 2020 ; Accepted: Jul 28, 2020

Published Online: Jul 29, 2020


The purpose of this study was to investigate the meat metabolite profiles related to differences in beef quality attributes (i.e., high-marbled and low-marbled groups) using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The beef of different marbling scores showed significant differences in water content and fat content. High-marbled meat had mainly higher taste compounds than low-marbled meat. Metabolite analysis showed differences between two marbling groups based on partial least square discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Metabolites identified by PLS-DA, such as N,N-Dimethylglycine, creatine, lactate, carnosine, carnitine, sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, betaine, glycine, glucose, alanine, tryptophan, methionine, taurine, tyrosine, could be directly linked to marbling groups. Metabolites from variable importance in projection plots were identified and estimated high sensitivity as candidate markers for beef quality attributes. These potential markers were involved in beef taste-related pathways including carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Among these metabolites, carnosine, creatine, glucose, and lactate had significantly in high-marbled meat compared to low-marbled meat (p<0.05). Therefore, these results will provide an important understanding of the roles of taste-related metabolites in beef quality attributes. Our findings suggest that metabolomics analysis of taste compounds and meat quality may be a powerful method for the discovery of novel biomarkers underlying the quality of beef products.

Keywords: beef; metabolomics; taste; quality

Journal Title Change

We announce that the title of our journal and related information were changed as below from January, 2019.


Before (~2018.12)

After (2019.01~)

Journal Title

Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources

Food Science of Animal Resources

Journal Abbreviation

Korean J. Food Sci. An.

Food Sci. Anim. Resour.







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