Evaluation of palatability through objective and subjective measures among multiple beef cuts
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The purpose of this study was to characterize the palatability of multiple beef cuts from three quality grades. A previously developed objective beef juiciness measurement was also conducted to determine the relationship between the juiciness of the longissimus dorsi and the juiciness traits of various beef cuts. Five different beef sub-primals were utilized for the study: strip loins (IMPS #180), inside rounds (IMPS #169), bottom rounds (IMPS #171B), shoulder clods (IMPS #114), and chuck rolls (IMPS #116). The sub-primals were from three different USDA quality grades: Prime, Choice, and Select; (n = 10 / quality grade) and were fabricated into the longissimus dorsi and eight different cuts: longissimus dorsi, complexus, and spinalis dorsi (LCS); serratus ventralis; infraspinatus; triceps brachii; teres major; adductor; semimembranosus; and biceps femoris. The raw pH and percentage of fat, moisture, protein and collagen was determined for each cut. Additionally, cooked steak measurements included: Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), slice shear force (SSF), cook loss, and pressed juice percentage (PJP). Consumer and trained sensory panelists evaluated the palatability of each cut and quality grade combination. A cut × quality grade interactions (P = 0.03) was determined for trained panel overall tenderness, SSF (P = 0.02), all proximate measures, and pH (P < 0.05). In both objective and subjective measurements of tenderness, the LCS was the most (P < 0.05) tender, while the biceps femoris, adductor, and semimembranosus were among the toughest. Moreover, these three steaks ranked the lowest (P < 0.05) for juiciness, flavor, and overall liking by the consumers. Additionally, trained panelists found similar results, with the cuts from the round (semimembranosus, biceps femoris, and adductor), across all three quality grades, to contain the highest values (P < 0.05) for overall tenderness. For each cut, fat percentage was the highest (P < 0.05) in Prime cuts. For SSF, Choice infraspinatus, longissimus dorsi, semimembranosus, and serratus ventralis were more tender (P < 0.05) than Select and Prime cuts. The WBSF tenderness values, decreased (P < 0.05) across all muscles, with quality grade increasing (Prime < Choice < Select). A Pearson’s correlation coefficient showed consumer attributes to be positively correlated (P < 0.05) to several trained panel attributes; initial juiciness, sustained juiciness, myofibrillar tenderness, overall tenderness, and beef flavor identity (r ≥ 0.42). Consumer attributes were negatively correlated (P < 0.05) with cook loss percent (r ≥ -0.26), moisture (r ≥ -0.32), protein (r ≥ -0.44), and connective tissue (r ≥ -0.30). Within the longissimus dorsi, infraspinatus and biceps femoris, fat percent positively associated (P < 0.05) to each consumer attribute assessed. The PJP values for the adductor, semimembranosus, and serratus ventralis were lower (P < 0.05) than all other cuts evaluated. Conversely, infraspinatus, LCS, and serratus ventralis were juicer (P < 0.05) than all other cuts as determined by both consumer and trained sensory panelists. The PJP among all muscles was associated (P < 0.05) with consumer juiciness ratings as well as trained initial and sustained juiciness ratings (r = 0.20, 0.19, 0.18, respectively). A regression analysis revealed the PJP of the longissimus dorsi accounted for a significant (P < 0.05) amount of variation in the trained initial and sustained juiciness scores of the adductor (R2 = 0.42, 0.38, respectively) and the serratus ventralis (R2 = 0.25, 0.24, respectively), however, was unrelated (P > 0.05) to the trained sensory panel scores for all other muscles. Moreover, longissimus dorsi PJP was not related (P > 0.05) to the consumer juiciness ratings for all cuts evaluated. Results of this study indicate that sensory differences can be detected between cuts evaluated, with some measures able to determine differences among quality grades. Differences in juiciness was also determined to exist among cuts, yet the PJP method was not found to be an adequate predictor of sensory panel juiciness ratings for most of the cuts evaluated.