Sensory analysis of ground LL samples representing 12 beef product categories was conducted in 3 different regions of the U.S. to identify flavor preferences of beef consumers. Treatments characterized production-related flavor differences associated with USDA grade, cattle type, finishing diet, growth enhancement, and postmortem aging method. Consumers (N. =. 307) rated cooked samples for 12 flavors and overall flavor desirability. Samples were analyzed to determine fatty acid content. Volatile compounds produced by cooking were extracted and quantified. Overall, consumers preferred beef that rated high for beefy/brothy, buttery/beef fat, and sweet flavors and disliked beef with fishy, livery, gamey, and sour flavors. Flavor attributes of samples higher in intramuscular fat with greater amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids and lesser proportions of saturated, odd-chain, omega-3, and trans fatty acids were preferred by consumers. Of the volatiles identified, diacetyl and acetoin were most closely correlated with desirable ratings for overall flavor and dimethyl sulfide was associated with an undesirable sour flavor.
- Fatty acids