Date of this Version
Meat and Muscle Biology 4(1): 17, 1–8 (2020) doi:10.22175/mmb.9549
Genetic panel use as a selection tool has grown in popularity in the beef industry. The objective of the study was to determine whether beef cattle genetically selected for tenderness generated a tender product. Igenity® (IT) panel results were provided by a cattle producer for 52 steers, which were harvested at a commercial harvest facility. Boneless strip loins (Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications #180; United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] Choice, n = 32; USDA Prime n = 20) were collected from the left side of each carcass and transported to the University of Idaho Meat Science Laboratory. Four steaks were cut from each subprimal and assigned to aging periods of 7, 14, and 21 d for Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF) analysis or 21 d for consumer sensory analysis. Carcasses were assigned to tenderness groups based on their IT tenderness indexes (Low IT, 3–6, n = 30; High IT, 7–10, n = 22). Data were analyzed using the mixed model procedure of SAS version 9.4 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). An interaction was observed between tenderness group and USDA quality grade (P = 0.015) when analyzing WBSF. All of the cattle had less than 4.14 kg of WBSF; however, USDA Prime steers that were in the High IT tenderness group produced more tender steaks than High IT USDA Choice, Low IT USDA Prime, and Low IT USDA Choice steers. Consumers were not able to detect tenderness differences between IT tenderness groups (P = 0.11) or USDA quality grades (P = 0.11), but they found USDA Prime steaks to be more acceptable (P = 0.01), juicier (P = 0.01), and more flavorful (P = 0.02) than USDA Choice steaks. In conclusion, regardless of tenderness group, USDA Prime steaks were preferred by consumers over USDA Choice steaks in terms of flavor, juiciness, and acceptability.