Research supplies crucial science-based information related to beef nutrition, beef safety and beef production methods, as well as consumer market analysis.
Research enables producers to improve beef products, and enables the IBC to not only carry out its programs effectively, but to evaluate their impact as well.
Around the world, consumers are increasingly calling for high-quality, safe, and nutritious products. As protein choices continue to expand, it is vital to conduct beef safety, production, and nutrition research to ensure consumers have confidence in their purchasing decisions. Research helps maintain and grow consumer trust in beef and beef production by providing resources that counteract misperceptions and showcase the industry’s commitment to quality and safety. Research has also aided producers in their quest to improve beef quality and better respond to evolving consumer needs.
In January 2021 the Idaho Beef Council (IBC) announced a $250,000 gift to the University of Idaho to fund a graduate fellowship endowment. The endowment will benefit students whose studies are aimed at strengthening the beef industry’s position in the marketplace, maintaining and expanding domestic and foreign markets, and identifying new opportunities.
This investment of state beef checkoff dollars will establish the IBC Graduate Fellowship Endowment in the U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and provide scholarship support to graduate students conducting research on topics from beef safety and nutrition attributes to quality, consistency and marketability, and new product development. This endowment benefits the beef industry by funding important research today and for years to come.
Checkoff-funded research, conducted by the University of Illinois and Colorado State University, compared beef burgers with pork, soy-based, and pea-based burgers. Research findings delivered a deeper understanding about how these proteins measured up.
The research found that the protein quality of beef burger is greater than protein quality from soy-based or pea-based burger. This is significant because, while the plant alternative nutrition labels list similar amounts of protein, this new research shows that unlike with beef burger, not all plant-based beef alternatives are valued as an "excellent" source of protein.
When it comes to meeting nutritional needs, the quality of the protein source matters as much as the grams of protein on the label. Only high-quality protein provides all of the essential amino acids in quantities required for growth, development, and muscle/body tissue maintenance.