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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: STRATEGIES TO OPTIMIZE CARCASS YIELD AND MEAT QUALITY OF RED MEAT ANIMALS

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Field testing of a system for on-line classification of beef carcasses for longissimus tenderness using visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

Authors
item Shackelford, Steven
item Wheeler, Tommy
item King, David
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad -

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 27, 2011
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
Citation: Shackelford, S.D., Wheeler, T.L., King, D.A., Koohmaraie, M. 2012. Field testing of a system for on-line classification of beef carcasses for longissimus tenderness using visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Journal of Animal Science. 90:978-988.

Interpretive Summary: The present experiments were conducted to field test a system optimized for on-line prediction of beef loin steak tenderness and to develop and validate a model for prediction of tenderness that would be unbiased by normal variation in the conditions under which this technology might be applied during routine beef carcass grading and sorting. The present experiments resulted in development and independent validation of a robust method to noninvasively predict beef loin steak tenderness of grain-fed beef carcasses.

Technical Abstract: The present experiments were conducted to field test a system optimized for on-line prediction of beef LM tenderness based on visible and near-infrared (VISNIR) spectroscopy and to develop and validate a model for prediction of tenderness that would be unbiased by normal variation in bloom time before application of VISNIR. For both Exp. 1 and 2, slice shear force (SSF) was measured on fresh steaks at 14 d postmortem. Carcasses with VISNIR-predicted SSF < = 15 kg were classified as VISNIR predicted tender and carcasses with VISNIR-predicted SSF > 15 kg were classified as VISNIR not predicted tender. In Exp. 1, spectroscopy was conducted on-line, during carcass grading, at three large-scale commercial fed-beef processing facilities with each carcass (n = 1,155) evaluated immediately after ribbing and again when the carcass was graded. For model development and validation, carcasses were blocked by plant and observed SSF and one-half of the carcasses (n = 579) were assigned to a calibration data set, which was used to develop regression equations, and one-half of the carcasses (n = 576) were assigned to a prediction data set, which was used to validate the regression equations. VISNIR predicted tender carcasses had lower (P < 10^-19) LM SSF values at 14 d postmortem in the calibration (13.9 vs. 16.5 kg) and prediction data sets (13.8 vs. 16.4 kg) than did VISNIR not predicted tender carcasses. Relative to the percentage of VISNIR not predicted tender carcasses, a lower percentage of VISNIR predicted tender carcasses had LM SSF > 25 kg in the calibration (2.0 vs. 7.8%) and prediction data sets (0.8 vs. 8.0%). In Exp. 2, carcasses (n = 4,204) were evaluated with VISNIR on-line at six commercial fed-beef processing facilities on 38 production d. VISNIR predicted tender carcasses had lower LM SSF values at 14 d postmortem (16.3 vs. 19.9 kg; P < 10^-87), longer sarcomere lengths (1.77 vs. 1.72 µm; P < 10^-10) and a higher percentage of desmin degraded (42 vs. 34%; P < 10^-5) by 14 d postmortem. Relative to the percentage of VISNIR not predicted tender carcasses, a lower percentage of VISNIR predicted tender carcasses had LM SSF > 25 kg (4.9 vs. 21.3%). The present experiments resulted in development and independent validation of a robust method to noninvasively predict LM tenderness of grain-fed beef carcasses. This technology could facilitate tenderness-based beef merchandising systems.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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