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Physical and chemical analyses of separable lean of beef retail cuts with different external fat trim levels
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Twenty beef carcass sides varying in USDA quality and yield grades ere selected from commercial packing plants to study the physical and chemical composition of beef retail cuts. Thirteen cuts (in sets of four) were fabricated and assigned to one of four treatments: (1) 0.3 cm external fat trim, raw; (2) 0.0 cm external fat trim, cooked; (3) 0.3 cm external fat trim, cooked; and (4) 0.6 cm external fat trim, cooked. Retail cuts assigned to the cooked treatment were either braised, broiled, or roasted. Both the cooked and raw cuts were dissected into separable lean, external fat, seam fat, and waste (heavy connective tissue and bone). Chemical analyses were conducted on the separable lean to determine fat, moisture, protein, and ash content. In addition, cooking yields and fat retention were calculated using raw versus cooked data. Dissection data suggested that percentage separable lean increased as cuts were trimmed of external fat cover. Choice retail cuts had a higher percentage of seam fat than Select retail cuts. Arm roasts proved to yield the lowest percentage of separable lean, as well as the most seam fat and waste, even if all the external fat was removed before cooking. Trimming cuts of external fat before cooking had few significant (P < 0.05) effects on chemical fat, moisture, protein, or ash content within a cut. The eye of round roasts showed a difference (P < 0.05) between the 0.0 cm and 0.6 cm treatments for fat content. As anticipated, retail cuts from the Choice quality grade had higher chemical fat contents than Select cuts. Few significant differences were found for cooking yields and fat retention as influenced by USDA quality grade or trim level. Retail cuts that were braised had numerically lower cooking yields and percentage moisture than cuts that were roasted or broiled regardless of quality grade or trim level. This study was designed to sample retail cuts with external fat trim levels found in the retail case today and to replace existing data that may be outdated. It must be noted that the chemical fat content for most cuts in the present study was lower than what is currently reported in Agriculture Handbook 8-13. These data are a potential source of information to be used by USDA in Agriculture Handbook 8-13 and the National Nutrient Data Bank.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 72-74).
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Wahrmund, Jennifer Lyn (1999). Physical and chemical analyses of separable lean of beef retail cuts with different external fat trim levels. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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