The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 10 candidate genes previously shown to be associated with quality traits in pigs and cattle. The data set comprised 28 traits recorded on a commercial population of 536 Aberdeen Angus-cross beef cattle. Among the traits, 20 were carcass and sirloin quality related, one mechanical measure of tenderness, and the remaining seven were taste panel assessed sensory traits. The candidate genes studied included growth hormone (GH) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). Association analysis showed that 13 of the 28 SNPs were significantly associated with at least one of the traits. Some of these were novel (POMC and mechanical tenderness), whilst others confirmed previous results (GH and eye muscle length). Following validation in other populations and breeds, these markers could be incorporated into breeding programs to increase the rate of improvement in carcass and meat quality traits. (C) 2010 The American Meat Science Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.