Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



2017 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP104. Lincoln, NE.


© 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Feeding dried distillers grains (DG) may influence calcium flux postmortem by disrupting the stability of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membrane, thus leading to a higher post- rigor calcium leakage, resulting in greater activation of calpains and improved tenderness. Mitochondria provide the opportunity to study calcium flux in a controlled, tightly defined environment as a model system for the SR. Cattle were finished on diets containing either 0% DG or 50% DG. Feeding DG increased proportions of PUFA in the SR and mitochondrial membrane. Oxidized mitochondria retained less calcium than non- oxidized mitochondria. Mitochondria from cattle finished on corn tended to retain more Ca than mitochondria from cattle finished on DG. These findings suggest that feeding DG in the finishing diet can possibly increase meat tenderness through altered calcium flux.