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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Fahrenholz, Timothy
item Patel, Jitu
item Paroczay, Ernest
item Solomon, Morse

Submitted to: American Meat Science Association Conference Reciprocal Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2004
Publication Date: 6/20/2004
Citation: Fahrenholz, T.M., Patel, J.R., Paroczay, E.W., Solomon, M.B. 2004. Prediction of beef tenderness with high performance liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis [abstract]. American Meat Science Association 57th Reciprocal Meat Conference. 57:24.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Inconsistency in beef tenderness is considered to be among one of the most critical quality issues facing the beef industry today. A rapid, noninvasive tenderness prediction allows segregation of tough and tender beef samples; and alleviates unnecessary aging of tender samples. An experiment was undertaken to determine the extent to which beef tenderness could be predicted by analyzing water-soluble beef components. U.S. Select grade strip loins (N=11) were purchased from a local slaughterhouse one day postmortem, and the samples were analyzed for WBSF (Warner-Bratzler shear force) and water-soluble components on 2, 7, 10, and 14 days postmortem (samples were held at 4 deg C prior to analysis). The water-soluble components were obtained by manually expressing exudates from the meat (referred to as 'drip'), and by series of homogenization and centrifugation steps (referred to as 'sol'). These water-soluble components were analyzed by reversed phase HPLC and capillary electrophoresis (CE). The WBSF values ranged from 8.1 kg to 3.6 kg for all samples at day 2. The HPLC results indicated the presence of a peak ratio in the chromatograms that gradually increased with aging, and this ratio was plotted against WBSF values to obtain correlation coefficients. The relative sizes of two peaks appearing in the CE electropherograms, one which gradually increases with aging (peak 'b', ~100 kDa mw), the other which gradually decreases with aging (peak 'a', ~30 kDa mw), was plotted against WBSF values to obtain correlation coefficients as well. Regarding pooled 2,7,10, and 14 day data, moderate negative correlations were found for the HPLC ratio in both the sol (r=-0.386) and drip (r=-0.403) analyses, and a moderate positive correlation was found for the CE peak 'a' drip analyses (r=0.440). In looking at the individual days of aging, a strong positive correlation was found for the day 2 CE peak 'b' sol analysis (r=0.827) and a moderate negative correlation was found for the day 2 CE peak 'a' sol analysis (r=-0.670). When data were separated into tough (WBSF>5.2 kg) or tender (WBSF<5.2 kg) samples, several moderate to strong correlations were obtained for both the HPLC and the CE analyses. Results suggest that tenderness prediction using 2 day postmortem samples by HPLC and CE analyses of water-soluble beef components could be used to screen and identify tender samples that do not require additional aging or any post harvest treatment, thereby saving energy costs.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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