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It has been well established that cooking method, marbling level and cooked internal temperature endpoint aﬀect beef ﬂavor and beef ﬂavor has been shown to be the most important driver of consumer acceptance. But beef cuts respond diﬀerently to cooking method and cooked internal temperature endpoint based on their inherent chemical characteristics. Beef cuts diﬀer in chemical characteristics based on muscle function in the live animal. Extensive work was conducted through the Beef Checkoﬀ to understand chemical and tenderness characteristics of beef cuts and is available as the Beef Myology website. This website is used by university, industry and government entities to understand inherent characteristics of individual beef cuts and how to maximize their value as a protein source. However, an understanding of how to maximize ﬂavor of individual cuts, the inﬂuence of cooking method, marbling level and cooked internal temperature endpoint across beef cuts has not been fully characterized. Recent beef checkoﬀ‐funded research has examined the relationship between diﬀerent cooking methods, degree of doneness, cuts, and marbling scores on consumer, trained sensory descriptive sensory ﬂavor, and aromatic volatile chemicals. These data sets provide a base for understanding the eﬀect of cooking method, marbling level and internal cook temperature endpoint on beef ﬂavor across cuts. There is a need to centralize information in a user friendly manner for each beef cut, how ﬂavor is impacted by cooking method, how marbling level impacts ﬂavor, and how internal cooked temperature endpoint aﬀects beef ﬂavor. However, there is a need to expand the information to include new cuts and new cooking methods. This project incorporated existing data and generated new data to be used in the development of a Beef Flavor Myology tool.
The project objectives were to develop a research, education and consumer resource that establishes ﬂavor of major beef cuts as aﬀected by cooking method and internal cooking endpoint.
USDA upper two thirds Choice and USDA Select beef plate, inside skirt, beef plate, outside skirt, skinned and beef loin, bottom sirloin butt, ﬂap boneless subprimals were purchased. The inside and outside skirts were cut in 10.16 cm portions and one portion was randomly assigned to cooking and degree of doneness treatments for trained panel sensory evaluation. The ﬂap steaks were cut in half and one half was randomly assigned to trained panel sensory evaluation. The steaks were vacuum‐packaged, aged for 14 d, frozen and stored at ‐40° C until evaluated.
The steaks were cooked using a pan fry, pan grill, or outside grill methods. The steaks were cooked to an internal temperature of either 58.3, 70 or 80°C to represent medium rare, medium and well done steaks. The steaks were evaluated by an expert trained meat descriptive attribute panel using the Beef Flavor Lexicon (Adhikari, 2011). Volatile aromatic compounds were captured from the same steaks evaluated by the trained panelists at Texas A&M University and Colorado State University. Volatiles were evaluated using the Aroma Trax gas chromatograph/mass spectrophotometer system with dual sniﬀ ports for characterization of aromatics.
Choice top loin steaks should be cooked to a lower degree of doneness on grills to avoid liver‐like ﬂavors and to maximize positive beef ﬂavor attributes. Top loin steaks cooked either using George Foreman grills, ovens or crock pots had higher levels of negative ﬂavor attributes. These data can be used to develop a Beef Flavor Myology tool for consumers and foodservice individuals.
For Phase II, cooking method and internal cook temperature endpoint tended to impact beef ﬂavor to a greater extent than USDA Beef Quality grade for outside skirt, inside skirt and ﬂap steaks. Pan frying tended to result in more oﬀ‐ﬂavor development and outside grilling was more often associated with positive ﬂavor attributes. Choice steaks tended to have more positive beef ﬂavor attributes such as beef identity, umami, brown and roasted. Pan grilling tended to result in intermediate ﬂavor for steaks when compared to steaks cooked using outside grilling and pan frying cooking methods.
Beef ﬂavor has been identiﬁed as a key component of beef demand. However, beef ﬂavor is very complex and is markedly impacted by marbling level, cooking method and cooked internal temperature endpoint. The beef industry has recognized beef ﬂavor as an important aspect of consumer acceptability and has conducted research to address factors impacting beef ﬂavor through the Beef Checkoﬀ program. This research will use past research to begin the development of a Beef Flavor Myology tool. This tool will be designed to assist beef industry personnel, either foodservice or retail segments, in determining appropriate factors that impact beef ﬂavor across beef cuts, marbling levels, cooking methods and cooked internal temperature endpoints. However, not all information on factors that impact beef ﬂavor across cuts, marbling levels, cooking methods and cooked internal temperature endpoints are known. The second phase of this project will conduct research to ﬁll in the gaps of this knowledge.
Figure 1. Flap principal component analysis for descriptive sensory ﬂavor attributes and the treatments.
Figure 2. Inside skirt principal component analysis for descriptive sensory ﬂavor attributes and the treatments.
Figure 3. Outside skirt principal component analysis for descriptive sensory ﬂavor attributes and the treatments.