Beef Flavor Attributes and Consumer Perception



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Levels of positive and negative beef flavor attributes were created by identifying beef cuts that varied in quality grade, pH, and amount of connective tissue, then cooked to 58 ?C and 80 ?C utilizing a George Forman grill (GF), food-service grill, or Crock- Pot. Trained descriptive sensory attribute panel, consumer panel, and gas chromatography with dual sniff ports (GC-O) were utilized to measure flavor. Fatty acid composition, non-heme iron and myoglobin content, pH, and fat and moisture analysis were determined.

As degree of doneness increased, beef identity increased. High pH M. Longissimus lumborum (LM) steaks had less beef identity than USDA Choice (Ch) LM steaks when cooked on the GF to either internal temperature endpoint or grilled to an internal temperature of 58 ?C. Choice M. Biceps femoris (BF) roasts cooked to 58 ?C had a higher beef identity compared to the Se BF roast cooked to 58 ?C. Brown/roasted was lower and bloody/serumy was higher when steaks or roasts were cooked 58 ?C.

No strong correlations for beef flavor and non-heme iron or myoglobin content were present. Fatty acid composition accounted for (P < 0.05) variation in beef flavor. 149 volatile compounds were identified. Fifteen volatiles accounted for 55 percent of consumer overall liking. Principal component analysis showed lower temperatures and/or shorter cooking times favor the generation of lipid-degradation products, while higher temperatures and/or longer cooking times favor production of Maillard reaction products.

Regression equations for beef flavor identity, brown/roasted, bloody/serumy, fatlike, metallic, liver, and umami accounted for 36, 32, 32, 31, 31, 24, and 60 (P <0.15) percent of the variability, respectively using volatile aromatic compounds as the independent variables. Overall, grill and beef flavor accounted for 90 percent of the variation in overall consumer liking. Through interviews, consumers indicated that flavor was extremely important to them when eating beef.