Piedmontese Cattle Association

Piedmontese, the Myostatin Breed

Beef Attributes

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Meat photos below are courtesy of the USDA-MARC. Click on the pictures to open a larger image.

Pictured below: 0-copy beef

Meat from cattle having no copies of the inactive myostatin gene. This meat has a lower lean-to-fat ratio (it's fattier) and more marbling than meat from cattle having one or two copies
of the gene.

Pictured below: 1-copy beef (un-trimmed)
Pictured below: 2-copy beef (un-trimmed)

Effects of 0 -1 -and 2 alleles of Piedmontese Myostatin on Tenderness...

The link above is a USDA Research Report comparing the tenderness levels of 0-copy, 1-copy and 2-copy beef. The USDA confirms that all of the effects on tenderness in the Piedmontese breed come from the Myostatin Gene .... and not from any other genetic influence.


Piedmontese Crosses Average Yield Grade 1 [slaughter data]

Dr. Koohmaraie of the USDA has commented to NAPA that the Piedmontese non-functional myostatin provides a much more dramatic positive effect on beef tenderness than any other genetic feature he is aware of at this time... Read more here.

USDA researched

  • the Most Tender Beef in the MARC GermPlasm Evaluation, while consistently the Leanest Beef. Read more below...
  • lower in Saturated Fats... Higher in the "good" Poly-unsaturated Fats
  • faster Cooking Time ...Flavorful and Healthful, every time
  • due to the unique myostatin genetics of the breed....be sure your family has healthful, tender beef - Piedmontese !

It is all in the genes ...predictable...consistent.

Piedmontese has lower levels of Collagen in the beef ... with a strong positive effect on Tenderness. Read more here...Less Collagen In Piedmontese Beef & More in Leather

Visit these pages:

Research from the Czech Republic on Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids in Marbling compares 8 different breeds, including Piedmontese - who prove to have significantly higher percentage levels of good polyunsaturated fats ...

Fatty Acids in Piedmontese Beef... (quote from full USDA report: "For consumers concerned about the healthfulness of the lipids (fats) they consume, the Piedmontese 2-copy genotype produced the leanest product with lipids that were composed of the most beneficial fatty acid profile of the genotypes compared." [Rule, Rule, Short, Grings, McNeil]

An interesting report on the Calpain- Calpastatin levels of Piedmontese (related to beef tenderness) from the UGA Animal & Dairy Science Annual Report is available HERE.

Research confirms that the Piedmontese beef contains high amounts of the Essential Fatty Acid 18:2 - CLA. Read more about the benefits of CLA here...."A fat that reduces cancer, heart disease and body fat.."


Years of research at the USDA Meat Animal Research Centre (MARC) at Clay Center, Nebraska has been conducted on Piedmontese sired calves, out of Angus-Hereford dams. The studies include everything from calving, calf survival, and growth traits through to carcass composition and meat quality.

The results have been truly remarkable. Production traits are good - calving ease and survival is similar to the Hereford-Angus; growth is again similar. But carcass composition excels ! Year after year the Piedmontese sired calves produced lighter live weights, but equal or more amounts of retail product per carcass than the much larger continental breeds, such as Charolais. The efficiency in production is obvious.

All of these calves, sired by 2-copy Piedmontese bulls, would have carried 1-copy of the myostatin allele. These 1-copy calves - year after year - averaged the highest carcass dressing percents, and highest retail product yield...even in comparisons with the "other" muscle breed, Belgian Blue.

Tenderness scores were also taken using the Warner Bratzler Shear Force Test - and again, year after year, the Piedmontese sired 1-copy calves produced the most tender beef product of all breeds compared. The beef was also consistently the leanest of all tested. Read more here ...

Informative comments from Dr. Larry Cundiff, Research Leader, USDA MARC Germplasm Evaluation:
“ Steaks from Piedmontese crosses contain less marbling and chemical fat (3.8%) than those from other breeds (eg. , 4.1% for Charolais and Gelbvieh crosses; 5.6% for Hereford-Angus crosses) we have evaluated.
Since fat contains about 225 calories per ounce and lean contains about 31.5 calories per ounce, beef from Piedmontese crosses … has relatively low caloric content.
Caloric content of beef increases about 2.2 calories per one percent change in chemical fat or about 3.3 calories per degree of marbling.
As fat content of beef increases, percentage of protein and water decreases. Thus, protein content is slightly greater in low fat beef with a low fat content."


Further research has proven that the Piedmontese beef (from 1-copy calves sired by 2-copy bulls) is lower in the 'bad' saturated fats and higher in the "good" poly-unsaturated fats that today's consumer wants.

Piedmontese beef actually cooks faster - another fact documented by the USDA. The unique attributes described are all connected to the Myostatin gene this breed carries. The Piedmontese Myostatin is unique among cattle breeds - with research indicating that they are the ONLY breed with this particular type of myostatin disfunction.

The simple direct effect of heritability is this: using a 2-copy Piedmontese sire on non-Piedmontese females ALWAYS gives you 1-copy calves. The USDA research we quote - with the dramatic increase in carcass composition and meat quality - is taken from 1-copy calves. You can achieve these same results in one cross breeding season using 2-copy Piedmontese bulls.

The Links below will open Evaluation Summaries from the USDA Research at MARC (Germ Plasm Evaluations). To read the Introduction, click HERE....This report is a "Breeds of Livestock Comparison" of some 27 different breeds/categories, including Piedmontese. The results here are all from 'half-blood' Piedmontese 1-copy for myostatin; which post the highest dressing percent, the largest rib-eye area, and highest retail product percent.

Table 1 - Mating Plan Table 2 - Biological Types (4 criteria) Table 3 - Birth weight, calving to weaning performance Table 4 - Post weaning daily gain, carcass dressing percent... Table 5 - Carcass weight, Rib-eye measure... Table 6 - Retail Products percent & weight, trim percent...



Brand name Piedmontese Beef Programs and some non-breed specific Branded Beef Programs are utilizing the consistent, tender, healthful beef that this breed produces in one cross breeding season with non-Piedmontese cows.

The breed is NOT, however, locked into specialty marketing niches.

When crossed with the traditionally "fatter" British breeds, the Piedmontese sired cattle will pay a serious premium in main frame markets, due to these crossbreds ability to Grade Prime or Choice with Yield Grades of 1 and 2. The National Beef Quality Audit is encouraging producers to achieve these goals in hopes of achieving 70-70-0 Beef (70% YG 1&2, and 70% QG Choice or higher, with 0 "outs") Read the report which shows that Piedmontese can achieve this in one cross... Beef Industry Target 70:70 Yield & Quality Grade Together




Just a cautionary note, if you are building a web site and/or creating sales materials for the sales of Piedmontese beef (not cattle), you should be aware of the requirements of the USDA.
Primarily, if you are making any claims (i.e. natural, hormone/antibiotic free, range feed, nutritional, Piedmontese,etc), for the purpose of selling beef, you will need to register your protocol with the USDA, and obtain USDA approval.
All nutritional info that is used for sales purposes need to be supported with documentation from the lab/testing facility, based on your product. Feeding, myostatin level, age, muscle type tested, etc will affect your nutritional.
In addition, all labeling will need to have USDA approval also.
You need to also consider, the processing plant needs to be federally inspected, in order to sell out of State.


The North American Piedmontese Cattle Association (NAPA)


Email napa.piedmontese@gmail.com


Visitors Since Feb, 2003


High in Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids ~ Consistently Tender ~ Piedmontese Beef