In-home consumer and shear force evaluation of steaks from the M. serratus ventralis thoracis.
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The M. serratus ventralis thoracis was obtained from US Select arm chucks (n=87) to investigate if this underutilized muscle can be used as a steak alternative. Muscles were assigned randomly into three treatment groups: (1) control; (2) blade tenderization; and (3) injection, containing salt, phosphate, and papain. Steaks were cut from each muscle for in-home consumer evaluation (n=136) and Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force determination. The WBS values for injected steaks (13.1N) were lower (P<0.05) than for blade-tenderized (18.4N) and control (19.9N) steaks. Tenderness ratings for the injected steaks were higher (P<0.05) compared to the other treatments when steaks were grilled, oven prepared or were cooked in a skillet; however, this improvement did not significantly influence overall like scores for steaks that were oven prepared or cooked in a skillet. For the most part, degree of doneness did not significantly impact consumer evaluations of steaks prepared by the various cooking methods. However, there was a treatment x degree of doneness interaction for grilled-cooked steaks where increased doneness for blade-tenderized and injected steaks resulted in increased palatability ratings, whereas increased doneness for control steaks generally resulted in lowered palatability ratings. Consumer ratings and WBS values for the M. serratus ventralis thoracis indicate that merchandising steaks from this muscle may be a viable option in the marketplace, especially if blade tenderization or injection processes are used for further enhancement.