Associations between portion size acceptability of beef cuts and ribeye area of beef carcasses.

Research paper by P D PD Bass, J A JA Scanga, P L PL Chapman, G C GC Smith, K E KE Belk

Indexed on: 23 Jun '09Published on: 23 Jun '09Published in: Journal of animal science


Carcasses that do not conform to mainstream specifications (i.e., those with nonconforming ribeye area) may not achieve their full potential value. Research was conducted to evaluate the relationship between beef carcass LM area at the 12th and 13th rib interface (LMA) and portion size acceptability of other muscles in the carcass. Sixty beef carcass sides of varying LMA sizes (between 67.74 and 116.13 cm(2)) were fabricated to generate 14 individual muscle cuts (triceps brachii long head, infraspinatus, chuckeye complexus, pectoralis profundus, longissimus thoracis, latissimus dorsi, gluteus medius, longissimus lumborum, tensor fasciae latae, psoas major, semimembranosus, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and vastus lateralis). Retail portion size (g/1.27-cm-thick steak) as well as face surface area and dimensions were recorded for each steak cut perpendicular at the midpoint of the longitudinal axis of each muscle. Subsequently, a nationwide survey was conducted with foodservice chefs and retail meat merchandisers to evaluate acceptability of portion sizes and dimensions of individual muscle cuts. Simple linear regression and nonparametric regression analyses were used to evaluate results of the carcass muscle evaluation and survey, respectively. Results demonstrated that LMA did not affect (P < 0.05) retail portion size of 7 of the 14 muscles (chuckeye complexus, pectoralis profundus, psoas major, semimembranosus, tensor fasciae latae, triceps brachii, and vastus lateralis). Similarly, LMA did not affect (P < 0.05) surface area of steak cross-sectional face areas from 7 of the 14 muscles (chuckeye complexus, psoas major, semimembranosus, tensor fasciae latae, infraspinatus, vastus lateralis, and latissimus dorsi). Muscles for which carcass LMA (P < 0.05) was related to portion size or surface area of portion steaks, or both, were included in the survey. Results of the survey demonstrated that portion size for many muscles were still acceptable to retail merchandisers and foodservice chefs, even though carcass LMA was outside the range of commercially acceptable sizes. Results of this study demonstrated that carcass LMA is not an accurate determinant of the size, and subsequent acceptability, of many other muscles of beef in the carcasses, and may not be a good determinant of value of the beef carcass.