Evaluation of Beef Steak Flavor Development in Vacuum Rollstock Packaging Under Two Lighting Sources
The objective of this study was to determine the influence of lighting type and display duration on flavor development in multiple beef muscles. Paired beef top sirloin butts, strip loins, and tenderloins were collected from USDA Low Choice carcasses (Small00 to Small100 marbling score, n = 16). Subprimals were wet aged in the absence of light for 7 d postmortem at 0°C to 4°C before being fabricated into 2.5-cm steaks representing the Gluteus medius, Longissimus lum-borum (LL), and Psoas major. Steaks were packaged individually in vacuum rollstock packaging and assigned to either light-emitting diode (LED) or fluorescent (FLUR) display cases for a display period of 0, 2, 6, or 10 d. All steaks were assigned to either trained descriptive panel analysis (n = 384) or volatile compound analysis (n = 384) and cooked to a medium degree of doneness (71°C). Two-way interactions occurred between lighting type and display duration, showing increased tenderness sooner during display for LED steaks, and lower umami intensity in FLUR steaks after 10 d (P < 0.001). Lighting and muscle type showed more tender LL and Psoas major steaks in LED lighting (P ≤ 0.001). Lighting and display duration interactions also showed increased concentrations of 2,3-butanedione under FLUR light and ethyl benzene under LED display (P ≤ 0.043), whereas lighting and muscle type showed greater concentrations of alcohols and carboxylic acids in LL steaks under LED lighting (P ≤ 0.046). Furthermore, discriminant function analyses were per-formed, suggesting that the most successful retail display period was within 2 to 6 d, with no difference between lighting types (P = 0.212). Overall, these data reveal little differentiation between lighting types, implying that newer LED lighting does not detrimentally influence beef quality when vacuum packaging is utilized.