The efficacy of three objective systems for identifying beef cuts that can be guaranteed tender1,2
T. L. Wheeler, D. Vote, J. M. Leheska, S. D. Shackelford, K. E. Belk, D. M. Wulf, B. L. Gwartney, M. Koohmaraie
Journal of Animal Science
The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of three objective systems (prototype BeefCam, colorimeter, and slice shear force) for identifying guaranteed tender beef. In Phase I, 308 carcasses (105 Top Choice, 101 Low Choice, and 102 Select) from two commercial plants were tested. In Phase II, 400 carcasses (200 rolled USDA Select and 200 rolled USDA Choice) from one commercial plant were tested. The three systems were evaluated based on progressive certification of the
... as "tender" in 10% increments (the best 10, 20, 30%, etc., certified as "tender" by each technology; 100% certification would mean no sorting for tenderness). In Phase I, the error (percentage of carcasses certified as tender that had Warner-Bratzler shear force of ≥ 5 kg at 14 d postmortem) for 100% certification using all carcasses was 14.1%. All certification levels up to 80% (slice shear force) and up to 70% (colorimeter) had less error (P < 0.05) than 100% certification. Errors in all levels of certification by prototype BeefCam (13.8 to 9.7%) were not different (P > 0.05) from 100% certification. In Phase I, the error for 3315 100% certification for USDA Select carcasses was 30.7%. For Select carcasses, all slice shear force certification levels up to 60% (0 to 14.8%) had less error (P < 0.05) than 100% certification. For Select carcasses, errors in all levels of certification by colorimeter (20.0 to 29.6%) and by BeefCam (27.5 to 31.4%) were not different (P > 0.05) from 100% certification. In Phase II, the error for 100% certification for all carcasses was 9.3%. For all levels of slice shear force certification less than 90% (for all carcasses) or less than 80% (Select carcasses), errors in tenderness certification were less than (P < 0.05) for 100% certification. In Phase II, for all carcasses or Select carcasses, colorimeter and prototype BeefCam certifications did not significantly reduce errors (P > 0.05) compared to 100% certification. Thus, the direct measure of tenderness provided by slice shear force results in more accurate identification of "tender" beef carcasses than either of the indirect technologies, prototype BeefCam, or colorimeter, particularly for USDA Select carcasses. As tested in this study, slice shear force, but not the prototype BeefCam or colorimeter systems, accurately identified "tender" beef.