Meat Science

Two male meat Science professors showing students some meat cuts
Meat Science

Research in meat science ranges from animal growth and development through fresh meats and processed/manufactured meat products. Undergraduate work opportunities include research and laboratory work in meat chemistry, assisting graduate students in research, development of websites and educational materials for bovine and porcine myology, meat plant facility work, and U-CARE research products. Some recent and ongoing research includes:
Faculty members at Animal Science will be glad to help you with any questions you might have.


  • To increase the value of beef carcass, muscles from the chuck and round have been fully characterized from the perspective of size, composition, color, tenderness, and palatibility. Veal and cow muscle profiling have also been done. This research led to the development of the flat iron steak (Whiskey Creek and Skeeter Barnes) and petite tender.


  • Consumer value of beef flavor and identification of meat traits most valued by consumers, including marbling and grain versus grass feeding, are leading to new insights in better ways to fulfill the desires of the consumer.


  • Instrument grading technology is being developed and evaluated. In one study, we correctly classified over 95% of carcasses as tender, intermediate, or tough.
  • Research is looking at ways to make new and better products with enhancement strategies such as pre-marinated beef, investigation of ingredients and effects on tenderness, taste, and color.
  • Studies are being done on the nature of flavor (and off-flavor) in beef.
  • The impact of distillers grain on meat characteristics such as marbling and flavor is being evaluated.
  • Research works to understand the impact of HACCP food safety interventions on meat product quality.


  • Optaflexx in beef was recently approved by the FDA. This growth promotant increases muscle mass and feed efficiency with minimal changes in tenderness or taste of beef.
  • Calf-fed and yearling production systems are being compared. Cattle placed in a feedlot immediately after weaning and harvested around 14 months of age are more tender than cattle raised within a yearling production system.
Information on Meat Culinology Certificate
Cutting Meat

Welcome to the meat science group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Our state-of-the-art facilities are among the best in the country.  The program includes teaching, research, and extension activities covering the breadth of topics in the meat science field. Specific areas of expertise include extension programs in food safety, HACCP and youth education; teaching includes introductory animal products, meat evaluation, fresh meats, processed meats and a meat industry study tour (to name a few). Research ranges from animal growth and development, through fresh meats and processed/manufactured meat products. Please contact us with questions and comments.


Photo Dennis Burson
Dennis Burson - Extension Meat Specialist
Photo Chris Calkins
Chris Calkins - Fresh Meats Research and Teaching
Photo Steven Jones
Steven Jones - Meat Animal Growth and Development Teaching and Research
Photo Roger W Mandigo
Roger Mandigo (Emeritus) - Processed and Manufactured Meats Research & Teaching
Photo Gary Sullivan
Gary Sullivan - Value-Added and Processed Meats Research and Teaching
Photo Ty Schmidt
Ty Schmidt - Pre-Harvest Meat Quality and Muscle Biology