This study aimed to evaluate the sensory and physical characteristics of zingibain-injected meat combined with sous vide cooking. M. biceps femoris (BF; n = 12) acquired from 6–7 year old Angus cows were cooked using the sous vide method at 65◦C, for 8 h or 12 h, either with ginger powder (GP) injected in a 2 g/L solution in water (treatment) or un-injected (control). The sensory attributes included flavour, juiciness, tenderness, and physicochemical characteristics were Warner-Bratzler shear (WBSF), hardness, total water content (TWC), cooking loss (CL) and collagen content. A significant improvement in tenderness with injection treatment and cooking time was observed, as evaluated through trained sensory panellists, and reduced WBSF and hardness (p < 0.05 for all). The flavour of the meat was not affected by injection treatment or cooking time (p > 0.05), but juiciness and TWC were reduced with longer cooking times (p < 0.01 for both). Soluble collagen increased with injection treatment and cooking time (both p < 0.05). Moderate to high correlations were found between sensory and physical measurements for tenderness and juiciness. The longer cooking time (12 h) with GP injection treatment caused over tenderization of the meat. The soft texture associated with over-tenderization may be suitable for some specialised consumer markets, for instance, the elderly population with chewing difficulties. Improving the eating quality of low-quality meat from old animals through sous vide cooking and the use of ginger proteases may increase the acceptability of lower value beef, potentially enhancing the commercial value of carcasses typically produced in the beef industry.
- Older animals