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Sensory and Flavor Chemistry Characteristics of Australian Beef: Influence of Intramuscular Fat, Feed, and Breed

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posted on 27.04.2016, 00:00 by Damian Frank, Alex Ball, Joanne Hughes, Raju Krishnamurthy, Udayasika Piyasiri, Janet Stark, Peter Watkins, Robyn Warner
The sensory attributes and flavor chemistry of grilled beef striploins (M. longissimus lumborum, n = 42) varying widely in marbling from commercial production types typical for Southern Australia were extensively characterized. Striploins from Angus grass-fed yearlings (5.2–9.9% intramuscular fat), Angus grain-finished steers (10.2–14.9%), and Wagyu grass-fed heifers (7.8–17.5%) were evaluated. Inherent differences between samples from grass- and grain-fed Angus cattle were minimal when the intramuscular fat content was above ∼5%. After adjusting for intramuscular fat, Wagyu samples had more intense flavor and higher tenderness and juiciness compared to Angus grass-fed samples. Grilled beef flavor, dairy fat, and sweetness increased with the marbling level, and sourness and astringency decreased. Tenderness and juiciness increased with the marbling level and were correlated with Warner–Bratzler peak force measurements. Trained panel sensory differences in flavor corresponded with increases in aroma volatiles and changes in nonvolatile flavor compounds. Unsaturated fatty acids with potential health benefits (vaccenic, oleic, and rumenic acids) increased with the level of marbling.

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