ICBF have just launched new Meat Eating Quality (MEQ) proofs for beef AI sires. The formal launch of these proofs took place today at the Meat Technology Ireland Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin.

  • The new proofs are a “world first” in terms of multi-breed genomic evaluations for meat eating quality traits, based on trained sensory panels. The dataset behind the new evaluations is the largest single database of its kind in the world, with over 5,000 animals with meat eating quality data and some 2.5 million animals in the entire dataset, 1.2m of which have genotypes.
  • At today’s launch, Dr. Andrew Cromie stated that, “the new proofs are a culmination of three years of work by the partners involved in Meat Technology Ireland, namely Teagasc, ICBF, the meat processing industry and Enterprise Ireland”.
  • Today is the first stage in the official publication of these proofs with 436 AI sires receiving their first evaluation.
  • The evaluations are based on three traits, tenderness, juiciness, and flavour, with each sire then assessed on the basis of the expected satisfaction rating from having a steak off a progeny from that sire. The expected rating for each trait, is 80%, with sires higher than this expected to produce progeny with improved meat eating quality for the relevant trait and animals below this, expected to produce progeny with poorer meat eating quality for the relevant trait. The range in average satisfaction values across group of AI sires with published evaluations is 70% to 90%, with an average of 80%.
  • As with the current Euro-Star evaluations, proofs for each animal are expressed both on a within and across breed evaluation, together with a reliability rating.
  • At this stage, ICBF are only publishing proofs for beef AI sires that meet the following criterion, (i) they must have at least 1 progeny in the evaluation, (ii) they must have a minimum reliability of 10% and (iii) they must be born after 1990.
  • This is the first stage in the launch of these new proofs.  Further work is now underway including;
    • the opportunity to provide MEQ proofs on all animals in the dataset, including critically young pedigree males for the breeding program
    • the calculation of economic values for these new traits, including the potential to include the traits directly into the Euro-Star Replacement, Terminal and Dairy Beef Indexes in the future.
  • For additional background information on these new evaluations, please refer to the presentation given by Dr Michelle Judge at the ICBF genetic conference held earlier this year. MEQ PRESENTATION

Other links to today’s launch: https://www.teagasc.ie/news–events/news/2020/quality-index.php