Tenderness Assessment of Beef Steaks from US Foodservice and Retail Establishments Using Warner-Bratzler Shear and Consumer Sensory Panel Ratings



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Beef retail steaks from establishments in twelve US cities and beef foodservice steaks from establishments in five US cities were evaluated using Warner-Bratzler shear and consumer sensory panels. Postmortem aging times for retail establishments ranged from 1 to 358 d with a mean of 20.5 d, and those from foodservice establishments aging times ranged from 9 to 67 d with an average of 15.9 d. For retail, top blade had the lowest (P < 0.05) WBS values, while cuts from the round top round and bottom round had the highest (P < 0.05) WBS values. Top loin and ribeye steaks had the lowest (P < 0.05) WBS values compared to top sirloin foodservice steaks. Retail top blade steaks received the highest (P < 0.05) ratings by consumers for overall like, tenderness level, like tenderness, juiciness level, and like juiciness; and foodservice top loin steaks received the highest (P < 0.05) for tenderness level, like tenderness, flavor level, juiciness level, and like juiciness. USDA quality grade did have an effect on foodservice ribeye and top sirloin steaks for sensory panels. Prime foodservice ribeye steaks were rated highest (P < 0.05) for overall like, like tenderness, tenderness level, like juiciness, and juiciness level, whereas ungraded ribeye steaks were rated lowest (P < 0.05) for like tenderness and tenderness level. Ungraded foodservice top sirloin steaks were rated highest (P < 0.05) for overall like, like tenderness, like flavor, and like juiciness. Additional improvements to reduce the range of tenderness levels are necessary to increase consumer acceptability.