Animal Science, Department of


First Advisor

Dr. Chris Calkins

Date of this Version


Document Type



Sonderman, J. A. 2021. Low-Oxygen Dry Aging of Beef. [master's thesis]. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Chris R. Calkins. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Joseph A. Sonderman


The objective of this research project was to determine the effects of removing oxygen from the beef dry aging process. Boneless upper 2/3 Choice beef strip loins (n=18) were randomly assigned to three aging treatments: wet aging, traditional (aerobic) dry aging, and low-oxygen dry aging. All treatments were aged for 41 days at 2 ± 1°C. The dry-aged treatments were held at 50% relative humidity (RH) with a fan speed of 2,200 revolutions per minute (RPM). Low-oxygen dry-aged samples were aged in chambers housed within an oxygen impermeable film bubble. After aging, yield was determined for the dry-aged samples. There was a significant difference in yield between the wet-aged (95% yield) and the two dry-aged treatments (p < 0.05), but there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the low-oxygen (55% yield) and aerobic (54% yield) dry aging treatments. There was no significant difference found in lipid oxidation (TBARS) between the wet-aged (1.18 mgs malonaldehyde/kg of tissue) and low-oxygen dry-aged (1.27 mgs malonaldehyde/kg) samples (p > 0.05), but there was a significant difference between the aerobic dry-aged (2.46 mgs malonaldehyde/kg) samples and the other two treatments (p < 0.05). A paired preference test was conducted to determine consumer flavor preference between low-oxygen and traditionally (aerobic) dry-aged steaks; no significant differences found among treatments (p < 0.05). In a trained sensory analysis, low-oxygen dry-aged samples had slightly higher numerical values for desirable flavor notes and aerobic dry-aged beef had slightly higher numerical values for undesirable flavor notes.

Advisor: Chris R. Calkins