In this study, a multi-city, retail consumer survey was used to determine whether marinating in calcium chloride at 72 h postmortem improves consumer and trained sensory panel evaluations of beef loin steaks, Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) values, and the value of CaCl2 marinades to improve tenderness in a national consumer market. Boneless strip loin subprimals (n = 8) were obtained from eight, not electrically stimulated, USDA Standard-grade carcasses, halved, and alternating ends were marinated with 200 mM CaCl 2 at 5% (wt/wt) or not injected (controls). Strip loins were then aged for 7 d in vacuum packages at 2°C before WBSF, trained or consumer evaluations. Four trained research teams traveled on the same 7-d period to collect the consumer data. Consumers (n = 393; minimum of 10 consumers/panel, three panels/store, three stores/city, and four cities) varying widely in income level, education, and gender evaluated the steaks for tenderness, beef flavor, juiciness, and overall quality in each of three supermarkets in major cities (Los Angeles, CA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; and Dallas, TX). The average improvement (P < 0.05) in WBSF for steaks marinated with CaCl2 was 1.39 kg. Trained panelists scored marinated steaks higher (P < 0.05) than control steaks in sustained juiciness (6.00 vs. 5.09), beef flavor (6.31 vs. 5.64), and overall mouth-feel (5.98 vs. 4.93). Consumers also rated marinated steaks higher (P < 0.05) than control steaks in juiciness (5.98 vs. 5.45), beef flavor (6.70 vs. 6.05), tenderness (6.75 vs. 5.89), and overall quality (6.68 vs. 6.20). Con sumers in this study would pay $0.95/kg more for steaks marinated with CaCl2, adding $21.64 to the value of a loin from tough carcasses. These results indicate that consumers can differentiate tenderness levels and are willing to pay a premium for calcium chloride marinating to effectively improve the quality of beef loin steaks.
- Calcium Chloride