The Beef Nutrient Database Improvement Project: Retail Cuts From the Rib and Plate



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The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze retail cuts from the beef rib and plate that had been identified as needing nutrient composition updates in the United States Department of Agriculture?s (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). Twenty beef carcasses were selected from three different regions of the United States, and the rib and plate were collected for shipment via refrigerated truck to the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center. Each rib and plate was fabricated 14 to 21 d postmortem into the appropriate retail cuts to be used for this study. The cuts were dissected, either raw or cooked (braised, grilled, roasted), into four separable components: separable lean, seam fat, external fat, and refuse. Bone and heavy connective tissue were considered refuse. Percent total chemical fat, moisture, protein, and ash analyses were conducted on the separable lean component obtained from dissection. Cooking yields were evaluated for each of the three cooking methods utilized in this study. Grilled cuts had the highest numerical yield followed by roasted and braised cuts. Dissection data showed single muscle cuts had a higher percentage of separable lean than retail cuts composed of multiple muscles. Boneless and lip-off retail cuts contained a higher percentage of separable lean when compared to their bone-in and lip-on counterparts. Finally, proximate analysis data showed that as retail cuts increased in the percentage of total chemical fat, the percentage of moisture decreased. When percentage of total chemical fat was stratified by USDA quality grade, most cuts showed differences between USDA Choice and Select quality grades. This study was a collaborative project; therefore, the results and discussion of this thesis are only based on findings from Texas A and M University's data. The final project results will be published in the USDA?s National Nutrient Database SR.