Lean color characteristics of bullock and steer beef.
Additional Document Info
Twelve young bulls and 12 steers were slaughtered and the carcasses were fabricated at 48 h postmortem. Top rounds, bottom rounds, and rib eyes were vacuum-packaged and stored at 0 degrees C until 21 d postmortem. After subprimal storage, steaks were removed from each cut and displayed under simulated retail conditions for 3 d. Consumer panelists (n = 110) showed little difference in buying preference for top round, bottom round, and rib eye steaks from steers vs bullocks. Also, consumer panelists could not detect color differences between steaks from steers and bullocks. Experienced panelists (n = 6) detected brighter (P less than .05) muscle color for top round and rib eye steaks from steers but detected no difference in muscle color of bottom round steaks from bullocks and steers. Generally, overall desirability scores favored steaks from steer carcasses. This was particularly true of rib eye steaks. Sex-class of carcass did not affect aerobic plate counts of top round, bottom round, or rib eye steaks either before or after 3 d of retail display. Muscle pH was lower for top round and rib eye steaks from steer carcasses; however, the magnitude of this difference was not large enough to affect retail display stability. Muscle pH of bottom round steaks was not affected by sex-class. Although experienced panelists could detect differences in visual appearance of beef retail cuts from steers and bullocks, consumer panelists did not show a clear purchase preference for steer vs bullock beef. These data suggest that beef retail cuts from bullocks are acceptable in visual appearance.