Identifying beef muscles and processing treatments suitable for use in fajita application
MetadataShow full item record
Beef fajitas have become a popular food item, but the supply of traditional muscles is insufficient to meet the growing demand. There is a need for alternative muscles that have similar eating characteristics to those currently marketed as beef fajitas. Four different treatments - papain (P), blade tenderization (B), papain + blade tenderization (P+B), and control (C) - were applied to sixty USDA Choice M. diaphragma pars costalis, M. transversus abdominis, M. obliquus abdominis internus, M. rhomboideus, M. trapezius, M. latissimus, and M. serratus ventralis. Muscles were cut into sections and frozen at -10ºC for evaluation by a trained sensory panel, consumer panel, and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) measurements. Trained panelists found that regardless of muscle, the addition of papain improved palatability scores. In general, treatment tended not to affect the palatability scores of the M. diaphragma pars costalis and M. serratus ventralis, which tended to receive higher scores in comparison to the other muscles. In general, the control and blade tenderized M. trapezius received the lowest trained and consumer panel palatability scores and had the highest WBSF values (P < 0.05). Regardless of muscle (except for M. diaphragma pars costalis and M. serratus ventralis), P and P+B treatments reduced WBSF values (P < 0.05). Consumers (n=81) gave the M. transversus abdominis, M. serratus ventralis, and M. latissimus similar (P > 0.05) tenderness ratings when the P treatment was applied. Consumers tended to prefer the flavor and tenderness of beef fajita strips that were treated with P and P+B and indicated a preference to purchase muscles with these treatments. Consumers were willing to purchase M. serratus ventralis treated with P+B and M. latissimus treated with P the majority of the time. Papain improved the eating quality of the muscles studied. The M. latissimus and M. serratus ventralis when treated with papain alone or in combination with blade tenderization, performed well enough to be considered as alternatives for traditional beef fajitas.
Warner-Bratzler shear force
Huerta Sanchez, Diana Lorena (2006). Identifying beef muscles and processing treatments suitable for use in fajita application. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from