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J Anim Sci. 2013 Sep;91(9):4521-5. doi: 10.2527/jas.2013-6539. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Combining two proven mechanical tenderness measurements in one steak.

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  • 1Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


This research was performed to determine the true efficacy of measuring both Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and slice shear force (SSF) in the same steak. The objectives were to compare cooking methods commonly used in preparing steaks for WBSF and SSF procedures and compare them at different cooling times. United States Department of Agriculture select strip loins (n = 240) were aged for either 7 or 14 d to increase the variation in tenderness. Each strip loin was then frozen and cut into 2.54-cm steaks. Steaks were then cooked to an internal temperature of 71°C using a convection conveyor oven (conveyor), a convection oven, clamshell grill, or an open hearth grill. Steaks were allotted to 4 different cooling times to create the combinations of: WBSF 4 h/SSF 0 h, WBSF 4 h/SSF 4 h, WBSF 24 h/SSF 0 h, WBSF 24 h/SSF 24 h. Five 1.25-cm cores were used for WBSF and one 1- by 5-cm slice for SSF. The WBSF from steaks cooked with conveyor were tougher than convection oven cooked steaks [51.9 Newtons (N) vs. 46.1 N; P < 0.05]. However, SSF were tougher when cooked in oven compared with those cooked in conveyor (267.5 N vs. 237.2 N; P < 0.05). Correlations for WBSF and SSF performed in the same steak ranged from 0.51 to 0.88 (P < 0.0001). The WBSF 24 h/SSF 0 h and WBSF 4 h/SSF 4 h had the strongest relationships (0.88 and 0.82, respectively; P < 0.05) between WBSF and SSF when using clamshell method. Performing WBSF and SSF in the same steak was successful based on moderate to high correlation values but the magnitude of the relationship is dependent on the combination of cooking method and cooling time.

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