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Title: Use of gelatin gels as a reference material for performance evaluation of meat shear force measurements

item Bowker, Brian
item Eastridge, Janet
item Solomon, Morse

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/29/2011
Publication Date: 4/6/2011
Citation: Bowker, B.C., Eastridge, J.S., Solomon, M.B. 2011. Use of gelatin gels as a reference material for performance evaluation of meat shear force measurements. Journal of Food Science. 76:S210-S216.

Interpretive Summary: Validating the performance of meat shear force testing is vital to establishing meat tenderness standards. In this study, gelatin gel standards were developed that exhibited a highly linear, repeatable relationship with shear force and the gels were found to be stable for at least a month. These gel standards would provide a tool for the meat industry to harmonize shear force measurements across laboratories and various texture measuring instruments.

Technical Abstract: Establishing standards for meat tenderness based on Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) is complicated by the lack of methods for certifying WBSF testing among texture systems or laboratories. The objective of this study was to determine the suitability of using gelatin gels as a reference material for performance testing of texture measurement systems. Three replications of five gels each (15, 20, 25, 30, and 35% gelatin) were prepared, cut into strips, vacuum packaged, and stored at 4ºC until use. Three randomly selected strips from each gel were subjected to WBSF testing on four instruments (A, B, C, or D) on days 1 and 8. Additional strips from each gel were subjected to WBSF testing on instruments A and C on day 29. Regression line estimates for each set of gels were analyzed using room temperature at the time of measurement as a covariate. Gel shear forces ranged from 10 to 177 N and there was a high degree of shear force uniformity throughout each gel. The WBSF by gel concentration response was highly linear (P < 0.0001) for all replications, instruments, and days of analysis. R2-values across all sets of gel standards in this study ranged from 0.9562 to 0.9998. The instrument by gel storage period effect was not significant for any of the regression line parameters (P>0.05). On days 1 and 8, instruments A and D both exhibited higher slope (P<0.0001) and lower intercept (P<0.0001) estimates than the other two instruments. When measured on either instrument A or C, the slope, intercept, and R2-values were not influenced (P>0.05) by the length of gel storage (1, 8, and 29 days). Data from this study suggest that a gelatin gel system can be an effective tool for evaluating WBSF values from various instruments and for validating the performance of the meat shear test as a basis for establishing a national standard for meat tenderness.