Influence of Aging Temperature and Duration on Flavor and Tenderness Development of Vacuum-Packaged Beef Longissimus


The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of beef wet-aging temperature and duration on beef palatability. Paired beef strip loins were obtained from USDA Choice carcasses (n = 60) at a commercial processing facility. Paired strip loins were assigned to a storage temperature (−2°C, 0°C, or 4°C). Strip loins were portioned into half loins and further assigned to an aging duration (14, 28, 42, or 56 d). Loins were aged in commercial upright refrigerators. After aging, loins were fabricated into 2.54-cm steaks and assigned to either volatile compound analysis, descriptive sensory analysis, or consumer sensory analysis. Data were analyzed as a split-plot in which carcass served as the whole plot and loin portion served as the subplot. An alpha of P < 0.05 was used. For descriptive sensory analysis, an interaction was observed for beef identity, bloody/serumy, fat-like, liver-like, bitter, sour, and musty/earthy (P < 0.05). Loins aged for 56 d at 4°C were the most intense for liver-like, sour, and musty/earthy notes compared with all other treatments (P < 0.05). An interaction was observed for consumer juiciness, tenderness, and overall liking (P < 0.05). Steaks from loins aged for 14 d at −2°C were rated the least for juiciness, tenderness, and overall liking (P < 0.05). Ethanol, acetic acid, 1-penten-3-ol, and 2-methylbutanal were each greatest in loins aged for 56 d (P < 0.05). Aging at 4°C yielded the greatest concentrations of ethanol and heptanoic acid (P < 0.05). Off-flavor development increased during extended aging but was dependent on storage temperature. Extended aging (>28 d) conducted at colder temperatures did not negatively influence palatability. Aging for 14 d at −2°C was detrimental to consumer liking. It may be concluded that both aging temperature and duration should be considered when seeking to optimize beef palatability.


© 2023 Sebastian Hernandez, et al. cc-by


meat quality, palatability, storage, taste, volatile compounds, wet aging


Hernandez, M.S., Woerner, D.R., Brooks, J.C., Wheeler, T.L., & Legako, J.F.. 2023. Influence of Aging Temperature and Duration on Flavor and Tenderness Development of Vacuum-Packaged Beef Longissimus. Meat and Muscle Biology, 7(1).