Flavor Development of Ground Beef from 3 Muscles, 3 USDA Quality Grades, and 2 Wet-Aging Durations


The objective of this study was to understand the influence of USDA quality grade, muscle, and aging duration on ground beef flavor development. Prime (PR), Low Choice, and Standard quality grade beef subprimals were collected and aged for either 21 or 42 d. Following aging, subprimals were fabricated into gluteus medius (GM), biceps femoris (BF), and serratus ventralis (SV) then ground and formed into patties. Raw patties were designated for proximate composition, fractionated fatty acids, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Cooked patties were designated for consumer sensory analysis, volatile compound analysis, and TBARS. Patties were cooked on a preheated griddle to 72°C. All data were analyzed as split-split plot where quality grade served as the whole plot factor, muscle as the subplot factor, and aging duration as the sub-subplot factor. Significance was determined at P < 0.05. A quality grade × muscle interaction was observed for moisture, where regardless of muscle, PR subprimals had the lowest moisture percentage (P < 0.05). Raw TBARS was not influenced by any interactions or main effects (P > 0.05). Individually, the BF and 42 d aged subprimals had the greatest cooked malondialdehyde concentration (P < 0.05). Patties from GM aged for 21 d were rated higher for flavor liking compared to GM aged for 42 d and SV aged for 21 and 42 d (P < 0.05). GM patties aged for 21 d were rated higher for overall liking compared to GM patties aged for 42 d (P < 0.05). Quality grade did not influence any lipid-derived volatile compounds (P > 0.05). The SV produced less Maillard reaction products (P < 0.05). Aging for 42 d increased lipid-derived volatiles (P < 0.05). Consumer liking of aged product is dependent on muscle. Aging recommendations should be muscle-specific to maximize beef eating experience.


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aging, beef, lipids, muscle, oxidation, quality grade, sensory, volatile compounds


Hernandez, M.S., French, C.N., Legako, J.F., Thompson, L.D., Miller, M.F., & Brooks, J.C.. 2024. Flavor Development of Ground Beef from 3 Muscles, 3 USDA Quality Grades, and 2 Wet-Aging Durations. Meat and Muscle Biology, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.22175/mmb.17159