Identification of Hanwoo (native Korean cattle breed) beef by real-time PCR using the MC1R gene in 5 provinces of South Korea

Jung Min Park, Jin Ho Shin, Dan Won Lee, Jae Chul Song, Hyung Joo Suh, Un Jae Chang, Jin Man Kim

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper describes the differentiation between native Korean cattle (Hanwoo) and Holsteins or imported cattle using the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by targeting the sequence of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene. A rapid and accurate method was developed to identify Hanwoo by genotyping the DNA extracted from 295 commercial beef samples (obtained from 5 provinces in South Korea) labeled as Hanwoo beef. The results of real-time PCR assays for the proportions of Hanwoo were 84, 85.7, 95, 91.4, and 90% in the areas of Seoul, Joongbu, Youngnam, Honam, and Chungcheong, respectively. Thus, the beef samples from 295 butcher shops, which asserted to only sell Hanwoo, showed that 259 of 295 samples were of the Hanwoo beef gene type (T-type) and 36 of 295 samples were Holsteins of imported dairy cattle gene types (C-type or C/T type). In conclusion, the proportion of Hanwoo beef was 87.8% and the proportion of Holstein or imported dairy cattle meat was 12.2% (C-type: 9.8%, C/T-type: 2.4%). Generally, most consumers can not differentiate imported meat from Hanwoo beef. Therefore, Hanwoo beef and imported dairy cattle meat that is sold in butcher shops should have mandatory identification by using MC1R genotyping based on real-time PCR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalKorean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Hanwoo (korean native cattle)
  • MC1R
  • Real time pcr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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