Muscle fibres in the adult are giant multi-nucleated cells which originate in the foetus from myoblasts and later fuse to form myotubes. Protein deposition is the balance between synthesis and degradation. The proliferation of cells and protein metabolism is controlled by a variety of growth factors and hormones which in the whole animal influence lean deposition. This endocrinological control of growth can be exploited to enhance lean deposition in animals and some of the currently available and potential methods are reviewed. In most cases data would indicate that the animal must be fed a diet that will allow the increased potential for lean deposition to be expressed. Unfortunately many of the methods which have been shown to be safe for the consumer of the meat and the animal are not permitted for a variety of reasons by many government authorities. Future exploitation of the physiology of growth to enhance lean deposition is likely to be increasingly constrained by political decision; a luxury available to the affluent developed world.

JL, Black

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 50, , 7-27, 1990
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