The objective of this study was to determine the palatability of various beef cuts from 3 USDA quality grades. Five different beef subprimals from USDA Prime, Choice, and Select (n = 10/quality grade) carcasses were utilized for the study, including: strip loins, inside rounds, bottom rounds, shoulder clods, and chuck rolls. Subprimals were fabricated into 9 retail cuts, which contained the following beef muscles: longissimus lumborum (LL); longissimus thoracis, complexus, and spinalis dorsi (LCS); infraspinatus (IF); serratus ventralis (SV); triceps brachii (TB); teres major (TM); adductor (AD); semimembranosus (SM); and biceps femoris (BF). The pH and percentage of fat, moisture, protein, and collagen was determined for each muscle on a raw basis. Additionally, cooked steak measurements included Warner- Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and slice shear force (SSF). Consumer and trained sensory panelists evaluated palatability traits of each cut and quality grade combination. A quality grade × muscle interaction was determined for trained panelists assessment of overall tenderness (P = 0.03), SSF (P = 0.02), proximate composition (P < 0.01), and pH (P < 0.01). In all objective and subjective measurements of tenderness, the LCS was the most tender (P < 0.05), while cuts from the round (BF, AD, and SM) were among the toughest and least juicy (P < 0.05). Conversely, consumers and trained sensory panelists identified the LCS, IF, and SV to be juicier (P < 0.05) than all others. The TB, TM, and LL were perceived by consumers most often as being everyday quality. The LCS was found by consumers to be the most acceptable (P < 0.05) across all attributes, with the SM being the least (P < 0.05) acceptable muscle. For each muscle, fat percentage was the greatest (P < 0.05) in Prime cuts. Slice shear force determined Prime IF, LL, and SV to be more tender (P < 0.05) than Choice and Select. No SSF differences (P > 0.05) were found among quality grades for the AD, BF, and SM. The WBSF values decreased (P < 0.05) across all muscles, as quality grade increased (Prime < Choice < Select). The results of this study indicate that muscles from the chuck may be utilized to provide consumers with a positive eating experience. Meanwhile, muscles from the round are likely to provide consumers with a lower quality eating experience.
- Quality grade
- Slice shear force