Submitted to: Journal of Muscle Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 29, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tenderness is one of the first criterion a consumer considers when thinking of meat quality. However, the conversion of muscle to meat is complex, typically leading to a high degree of variability in meat tenderness. Variability in meat tenderness is seen not only among breeds, but also between the same cut in a breed. Tenderness has proven to be the most difficult quality factor for meat producers and meat packers to manage. These experiments were designed to prove the variability in meat tenderness and to see if meat tenderness could be made more consistent by treating unsuitably tough (shear value of 6.0 kg or greater) meat with supersonic shock waves using hydrodynamic pressure processing (HDP). Our data indicated that HDP treatment of boneless beef striploins (SL)not only made the SL more tender than control SL but also made tenderness more consistent through the whole SL. While the mechanism responsible for the improved tenderness is still not completely understood, HDP treatment did however, lead to a more uniform tenderness along the SL and a less tough/more tender SL. Further research is currently underway and is directed at ensuring that the process will become optimized, cost effective, and amenable to automation.
Technical Abstract: Variability in shear force following broiling to 71 deg C was compared along the length [anterior (rib) to posterior] of Select, boneless striploins (longissimus muscle, LM) and between medial and lateral portions of individual steaks comprising the LM. Shear force data indicated that there was a high degree of variability in tenderness in the individual steaks comprising a complete LM. A mean difference of 3.01 kg shear force (P < 0.05) was found when comparing the high and low shear force values in the four combined LM. No difference in shear force was observed between medial and lateral sections of individual 2.54 cm thick steaks along the striploin. Hydrodynamic pressure processing (HDP) was employed on beef striploins to determine if variability in shear force could be reduced. HDP treatment led to both a decrease in variability and an improvement in tenderness for both the medial and lateral portions of the steak (within steak) and along the entire LM (within striploin). Varying the boundary between the HDP plastic explosive container and its surrounding environment affected the final level of tenderness achieved to different degrees. These data indicate that inconsistency in tenderness exists along LM and within each steak of the striploin. Furthermore, these data suggest that HDP treatment is valuable in providing both more tender and more uniformly tender boneless striploin.