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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Meat Science and Muscle Biology

Mechanical probes can predict tenderness of cooked beef longissimus using uncooked measurements1


This article in

  1. Vol. 82 No. 7, p. 2077-2086
    Received: Dec 12, 2003
    Accepted: Mar 25, 2004

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. J. W. Stephens*,
  2. J. A. Unruh*2,
  3. M. E. Dikeman*,
  4. M. C. Hunt*,
  5. T. E. Lawrence* and
  6. T. M. Loughin
  1. Departments of Animal Sciences and Industry and
    Statistics, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506


Two experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of using mechanical probes and objective color measurement on beef LM to predict cooked tenderness. In Exp. 1, sharp needle (SN), sharp blade (SB), blunt needle (BN), blunt blade (BB), and plumb bob (PB) probes were used to measure uncooked LM (n = 29) at 2 d postmortem in both a perpendicular and parallel orientation to the long axis of the strip loin. Additionally, instrumental color measurements were measured on uncooked muscle at 2 d postmortem. Steaks for trained sensory panel (TSP) and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) measurements were aged 14 d postmortem before cooking. Probe measurements taken perpendicular to the long axis of the LM were not correlated (P = 0.22 to 0.82) to TSP tenderness. Probe measurements (BB, BN, SN, SB, and PB) taken parallel to the long axis were correlated to TSP tenderness (r = −0.57, −0.40, −0.77, −0.52, and −0.53, respectively). A regression equation using the SN probe to predict TSP tenderness had a R2 value of 0.74. The SB probe combined with L* accounted for 45% of the variation in TSP tenderness, whereas the PB probe combined with L* accounted for 56% of the variation in TSP tenderness. A second experiment (n = 24) was conducted using the SN, SB, and PB probes on uncooked sections at 2 d and on cooked steaks at 14 d postmortem. Probe measurements on cooked steaks were not correlated to TSP tenderness. New regression equations were calculated using the probe measurements on uncooked steaks from both experiments. Prediction equations formulated with L* values and either SN, SB, or PB probes accounted for 49, 50, and 47% of the variability in TSP tenderness scores, respectively. An equation using WBSF of cooked steaks to predict TSP tenderness had an R2 of 0.58. Of the steaks predicted to be tender (predicted tenderness > 5.0) by the equations using the SN, SB, and PB probes on uncooked steaks and WBSF on cooked steaks, 85, 88, 80, and 84%, respectively, were actually tender (TSP tenderness > 5.0). Mechanical probe measurements of uncooked steaks at 2 d postmortem can potentially classify strip loins into groups based on tenderness, as well as WBSF measurements, which are more costly and time consuming.

Copyright © 2004. Copyright 2004 Journal of Animal Science