Reducing Postmortem Aging Time of Beef with Electrical Stimulation Academic Article uri icon


  • Two studies (Study 1 = 23 forage‐fed steers; Study 2 = 20 grain‐fed steers and heifers) were conducted to determine relationships of electrical stimulation (ES) and/or postmortem aging (PA) to tenderness of beef. For Study 1, steaks from ES sides had lower (P < 0.05) Warner‐Bratzler shear (WBS) values than steaks from not‐ES sides for each PA period. In addition, the percentage reduction in WBS values was greater for the steaks from the ES‐Day 2 group (–29.5%) than for steaks from even the longest PA period (14 days) from the not‐ES group (–25.8%). For Study 2, during the fist three PA periods (1, 2 and 5 days), ES resulted in more desirable (P < 0.05) flavor ratings (Day l), higher (P < 0.05) tenderness ratings and lower (P < 0.05) WBS values (Day 1, 2, 5) and more desirable (P < 0.05) overall palatability ratings (Day 1, 2). During the last three PA periods (8, 11 and 14 days), ES resulted in higher (P < 0.05) tenderness ratings (Day 8), lower (P < 0.05) juiciness ratings (Day 11, 14) and lower (P < 0.05) WBS values (Day 8). Based on these results, ES had the greatest impact on beef palatability if the period of aging was 8 days or less; with additional aging time, ES effects on palatability were negated. When each treatment (ES, not‐ES) was divided into two groups based on median tenderness ratings for the not‐ES group, ES had the greatest impact on those carcasses in the “tough” group while ES had little impact on those carcasses in the “tender” group. ES will accelerate the postmortem aging of beef but the aging time reduction and extent of ultimate tenderization appears to be affected by the inherent tenderness of the beef. Copyright © 1981, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

author list (cited authors)

  • SAVELL, J. W., McKEITH, F. K., & SMITH, G. C.

citation count

  • 45

publication date

  • November 1981