Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2005
Publication Date: July 15, 2005
Citation: Eastridge, J.S., Gozora, A.R., Solomon, M.B. 2005. Effect of thawing methods on yield and tenderness of beef loin steaks [abstract]. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts. Paper No. 97-4. Available: http://ift.confex.com/ift/2005/boa.htm
Ice crystal formation and growth during freezing, storage and thawing can degrade meat quality. Apart from food safety, little attention has been given to thawing methods. This study examines thawing method effects on yield and tenderness of meat. Four beef strip loins were vacuum packaged (VP) and frozen in a commercial freezer at -23°C for 5 mo. Starting from the anterior end, frozen loins were cut into 2.7 cm thick steaks (n=9) to assure 2.5 cm on thawing and were individually VP. Thawing methods, randomly assigned each series of three steaks, were slow (S; 18-26 hr at 4°C), fast (F; 20 min at 20°C) or very fast (V; 11 min at 39°C). After thawing, F and V steaks were placed in ice slush for 5 min. Steaks were grilled to 71°C, turning once at 40°C. Steak weights, temperatures and cooking time were monitored. Cores were removed parallel to the fiber axis from room temperature steaks and shear force measured on a texture analyzer with a Warner-Bratzler meat shear blade at 250 mm/min crosshead speed. Data were analyzed as a randomized complete block design using the MIXED procedure of SAS where loin represented block and treatments were repeated three times per loin. Among thawing methods, no differences were detected (p>0.05) for steak weights, thaw drip loss or thawed internal temperature. Cook yield was 2 percent higher (p<0.03) for rapid methods, F and V, compared to S. Total loss (drip + cook) was less (p<0.03) for F than S (25.5 vs 28.2 percent) while V (26.6 percent) was similar to F and S. Thawing method did not influence shear force (p>0.05); however, S had higher (p<0.04) standard deviation than F or V (1.14 vs 0.97 and 0.98 kgf). Rapid thaw methods F and V were advantageous to S in cook yield and less variable texture. Freezing meat adds convenience for researchers, restauranteurs and consumers. Rapid thawing allows better use of time, and increased yield may improve juiciness perception.