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Title: Tenderization of beef loins using a high efficiency sparker

Author
item Bowker, Brian
item SCHAEFER, RAYMOND - PHOENIX SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, INC.
item GRAPPERHAUS, MICHAEL - PHOENIX SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, INC.
item SOLOMON, MORSE

Submitted to: Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2011
Publication Date: 4/1/2011
Citation: Bowker, B.C., Schaefer, R.B., Grapperhaus, M.J., Solomon, M.B. 2011. Tenderization of beef loins using a high efficiency sparker. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. 12:135-141.

Interpretive Summary: Improving meat tenderness is essential to enhancing the value and consumer appeal of inferior quality meat cuts. This study investigated the effects of high-pressure shockwaves generated from a sparker source on the tenderness of boneless beef strip loins. Demonstrating the ability to tenderize tough cuts of meat using sparker generated high-pressure shockwaves is an important step in providing the meat industry with an effective postharvest technology for improving product quality.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of tenderizing beef strip loins using high-pressure shockwaves generated from a sparker source. A total of 117 steaks from 16 beef strip loins were utilized with each treated steak having an adjacent steak as a non-treated control. Steaks from the anterior, middle, and posterior portions of the strip loins were used and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) was measured on the day of treatment (day 0) and after aging (day 7). Sparker treatments were applied to either individual steaks or intact loin roasts. Sparker head height above the sample and the number of pulses were varied. With the sparker head set 7.5-cm above the samples, non-aged steaks receiving 80 pulses at two locations had lower WBSF than non-treated controls (P<0.05). Aging decreased WBSF in both control and treated steaks (P<0.0001). With the sparker head set at 3.75-cm, treated samples exhibited an average of 20-25% lower WBSF values than controls on day 0 (P<0.001). Samples treated as individual steaks and intact loin roasts had similar tenderness improvements. With the sparker head set at 3.75-cm, 100% of treated samples demonstrated WBSF reductions >10%. Sparker treated steaks from the posterior end of the strip loins had lower WBSF on day 7 than controls (34.3 N vs. 39.2 N) but the difference was not significant. For individual steaks, the maximum observed improvements in tenderness were 37% (entire steak), 56% (medial portion of steak), and 31% (lateral portion of steak). Data from this study indicate that high-pressure shockwaves generated from the sparker are an effective postharvest technology for improving meat tenderness.