Beef Flavor Audit
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Consumer acceptability in meat flavor is one of the driving factors of consumer acceptability. Many factors have been found that affect beef flavor, but little is known about variability of major beef cuts in the retail meat case. In this study four beef cuts (chuck roast = 50, top sirloin steaks = 49, top loin steaks =50, and 80% lean ground beef = 50) were obtained from various retail stores in Miami, Los Angeles, Portland, New York, and Denver during a two-month period. No specific requirements such as quality grade, grain fed, or grass fed were used when purchasing cuts except ground beef was standardize to a 20 % fat level. A wide variety of samples that were from different production systems or contained claims that would be available to a customer during a shopping trip were documented. Two types of cooking methods were utilized; food service grill for top loin, top sirloin, and ground beef and oven roasting for chuck roast. Beef was cooked to an internal temperature of 71˚C. An expert, trained descriptive flavor and texture sensory panel evaluated beef flavor, aroma and texture attributes. Principal component and partial least square biplots were conducted to relate flavor attributes and aromatic volatile compounds. Ground beef was more intense (P < 0.0001) levels of beef flavor identity, brown, and roasted flavor aromatic and salt and umami basic tastes. Chuck roasts were closely associated with volatile compounds such as hexanal, 1- pentanol, 1-octen-3-ol, and 2-octenal, lipid degradation products. Top sirloin steaks were lowest (P< 0.0001) in fat- like flavor aromatics, and more intense (P< 0.0001) in burnt and cardboardy flavor aromatics and bitter and sour basic tastes. Top sirloin steaks and chuck roasts were more intense in metallic and liver-like (P< 0.0001) flavor aromatics. Top sirloin steaks were clustered near thiobis methane, ethyl ester acetic acid, and methyl ester butanoic acid. Top loin steaks were intermediate in flavor attributes, but possessed volatile products found from the Maillard reaction. Chuck roasts were closely associated with bloody/serumy flavor aromatics. Ground beef patties were clustered with fat-like, overall sweet, green hay, and buttery flavor aromatics. Top sirloin steaks were more highly associated with off-flavors, such as liver-like, cardboardy, and sour flavor aromatics. Top loin steaks were clustered with more positive attributes such as umami, beef flavor identity, brown, and roasted flavor aromatics. Therefore, flavor descriptive attributes of four beef cuts differed. Chuck roasts and top sirloin steaks were more closely associated with negative flavor attributes. Ground beef tended to contain more of the sweet, fatlike flavor attributes. Volatiles clustered around ground beef helped to explain the presence of green hay like flavor. Top loin steaks were associated with more positive beef flavor attributes.
Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry
80% lean ground beef
Pena, Cassandra Ann (2019). Beef Flavor Audit. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from