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J Anim Sci. 2002 Aug;80(8):2122-5.

Technical note: the effect of freezing on Warner-Bratzler shear force values of beef longissimus steaks across several postmortem aging periods.

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Department of Animal & Range Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings 57007, USA.


The objective of this study was to compare fresh and frozen protocol procedures for Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) determination on steaks aged for different periods of time. The fresh protocol consisted of measuring WBSF on steaks cooked on the exact day the aging period ended. The frozen protocol consisted of measuring WBSF on steaks that were aged, frozen (-16 degrees C) for approximately 2 mo, thawed for 24 h, and then cooked. Twenty-two strip loin steaks from each of 20 crossbred heifers and steers were individually vacuum-packaged and assigned to either the fresh or frozen protocol and one of 11 aging periods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14, 21, or 35 d). The frozen protocol resulted in lower (P < 0.05) WBSF values than the fresh protocol for beef longissimus steaks that were aged for 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, or 35 d postmortem. An interaction (P < 0.05) between protocol and postmortem aging resulted from larger differences between protocols at shorter aging periods than at longer aging periods. Correlations and mean differences revealed that frozen protocol WBSF values were not highly indicative of fresh protocol WBSF values at the same period of postmortem aging, but rather suggested that frozen protocol WBSF values at shorter aging times were useful in estimating WBSF values from fresh protocols at longer aging times. Cooking loss was higher (P < 0.05) for frozen vs fresh protocol steaks at all aging periods except for 14, 21, or 35 d. These findings suggest that if research constraints warrant the freezing of samples, shorter aging periods before freezing (6 and 7 d) should be used to estimate WBSF of fresh aged beef (14 to 21 d). In trials in which several postmortem aging periods or very short aging periods are of interest, we recommend that WBSF be assessed using the fresh protocol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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