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Biochemical measurements of beef are a good predictor of untrained consumer sensory scores across muscles

Bonny, S.P.F., Gardner, G.E., Pethick, D.W., Legrand, I., Polkinghorne, R.J. and Hocquette, J.F. (2014) Biochemical measurements of beef are a good predictor of untrained consumer sensory scores across muscles. Animal, 9 (1). pp. 179-190.

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The ability of the biochemical measurements, haem iron, intramuscular fat (IMF%), moisture content, and total, soluble and insoluble collagen contents, to predict untrained consumer sensory scores both across different muscles and within the same muscle from different carcasses were investigated. Sensory scores from 540 untrained French consumers (tenderness, flavour liking, juiciness and overall liking) were obtained for six muscles; outside (m. biceps femoris), topside (m. semimembranosus), striploin (m. longissimus thoracis), rump (m. gluteus medius), oyster blade (m. infraspinatus) and tenderloin (m. psoas major) from each of 18 French and 18 Australian cattle. The four sensory scores were weighted and combined into a single score termed MQ4, which was also analysed. All sensory scores were highly correlated with each other and with MQ4. This in part reflects the fact that MQ4 is derived from the consumer scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking and also reflects an interrelationship between the sensory scores themselves and in turn validates the use of the MQ4 term to reflect the scope of the consumer eating experience. When evaluated across the six different muscles, all biochemical measurements, except soluble collagen, had a significant effect on all of the sensory scores and MQ4. The average magnitude of impact of IMF%, haem iron, moisture content, total and insoluble collagen contents across the four different sensory scores are 34.9, 5.1, 7.2, 36.3 and 41.3, respectively. When evaluated within the same muscle, only IMF% and moisture content had a significant effect on overall liking (5.9 and 6.2, respectively) and flavour liking (6.1 and 6.4, respectively). These results indicate that in a commercial eating quality prediction model including muscle type, only IMF% or moisture content has the capacity to add any precision. However, all tested biochemical measurements, particularly IMF% and insoluble collagen contents, are strong predictors of eating quality when muscle type is not known. This demonstrates their potential usefulness in extrapolating the sensory data derived from these six muscles to other muscles with no sensory data, but with similar biochemical parameters, and therefore reducing the amount of future sensory testing required.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © The Animal Consortium 2014
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