Beef Flavor Myology
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Beef flavor is very complex and the most important driver for consumer acceptance. Cooking method, Quality grade (marbling level), and cooked internal temperature may affect beef flavor. In this study, 54 treatments were utilized, including three beef cuts (outside skirt, inside skirt, and flaps), two Quality grades (USDA Choice and Select), three cooking methods (pan fry, pan grill, and outside grill), and three internal cook temperature endpoints (58°C, 70°C, and 80°C) to better understand trained descriptive beef flavor and texture attributes, volatile flavor aroma compounds, and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) tenderness. Meat sources were purchased as subprimals in six reps for each cut and were fabricated into 10.16 cm wide steaks. Generally across all three cuts, Quality grade significantly affected fat-like, cardboardy, juiciness, muscle fiber tenderness beef flavor and texture attributes (P < 0.05). Internal cook temperature endpoint significantly affected beef identity, brown, bloody/serumy, metallic, burnt, smokey charcoal, and juiciness (P < 0.05). Finally, the attributes generally affected by cooking method included beef identity, brown, metallic, smokey charcoal (P < 0.05). Most flap treatments were clustered near butanoic acid, benzeneacetaldehyde, phenyl acetaldehyde, and 2,6-dimethyl-pyrazine – which are generally sweet, rancid, floral aromas. Generally, inside skirt treatments were related to acetic acid, sulfur dioxide, methyl-benzene, and 1-heptanol – which are sour, sulfur, and fruity aromas. Outside skirts are clustered around aromas such as dl-limonene, 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline, carbon disulfide, and undecanal – citrus, soapy, buttery aromas. Treatments had a significant effect on flap tenderness measured by WBSF – Choice steaks were more tender (P < 0.05) than Select flaps, those cooked to 80°C were less tender (P < 0.05) than other internal temperatures, and pan-grilled flaps were more tender (P < 0.05) than the other cooking methods. For inside skirts, there was no effect (P > 0.05) by Quality grade on tenderness measured by Warner-Bratzler shear force. However, inside skirts cooked to 58°C were more tender than other internal temperature endpoints, and pan-grilled skirts were more tender than other cooking methods (P < 0.05). Lastly, for WBSF measurements, treatments had no impact (P > 0.05) on outside skirt steaks.
Bamsey, Melissa Lindsay (2017). Beef Flavor Myology. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from