The objective of this study was to determine the optimal postmortem aging period and nutrient composition for Beef Value Cuts of the round. Forty USDA Select and 40 Premium USDA Choice beef carcasses were selected from a commercial beef packing plant in Colorado over a 12-wk period. The bottom and inside rounds were collected from both sides of each carcass for further fabrication into the following muscles: adductor, gastrocnemius, gracilis, pectineus, and superficial digital flexor. Each pair of muscles was cut into 7 steaks and randomly assigned to 1 of the following aging periods: 2, 4, 6, 10, 14, 21, and 28 d, and placed in refrigerated storage (2°C, never frozen). Upon completion of the designated aging period, steaks were removed from storage, cooked to a peak internal temperature of 72°C, and evaluated using Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF). A 2-way interaction was detected (P < 0.05) between individual muscle and postmortem aging period. The WBSF of all muscles except the superficial digital flexor decreased with increased time of postmortem aging. Quality grade did not affect (P > 0.05) WBSF values for the adductor, gastrocnemius, pectineus, and superficial digital flexor muscles. Exponential decay models were used to predict the change in WBSF from 2 to 28 d postmortem (aging response). The adductor, gastrocnemius, Select gracilis, Premium Choice gracilis, and pectineus required 21, 14, 23, 23, and 25 d, respectively, to complete the majority of the aging response. To determine the nutrient composition of the adductor, gastrocnemius, gracilis, pectineus, semimembranosus, and superficial digital flexor, bottom and inside rounds were collected from 10 USDA Select and 10 Premium USDA Choice carcasses and fabricated into the respective muscles, cut into 2.54- cm cubes, frozen (-20°C), and then homogenized. The adductor, gracilis, pectineus, semimembranosus, and superficial digital flexor were analyzed for DM, moisture, CP, and ash percentages. All muscles were evaluated for total lipid, fatty acid, and cholesterol composition. When quality grades were combined, all muscles fell into the extra lean or lean categories specified by USDA guidelines. Results of this study illustrate the potential for Beef Value Cuts of the round to be sold in food service operations and retail stores with marketing emphasis being placed on the exceptional leanness and acceptable tenderness of these cuts.
- Value cut