Animal Science, Department of


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Published in Journal of Animal Science 2008. 86:2690–2696. Copyright © 2008 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


The M. quadriceps femoris from USDA Choice (n = 12) and USDA Select (n = 12) carcasses were fabricated traditionally (COLD) or innovatively (HOT), in which the seams it shares with the top round and bottom round were separated prerigor to evaluate positional and locational effects on Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), sensory attributes, and objective color. At slaughter, paired USDA Choice and USDA Select carcasses were alternately assigned either the HOT or COLD treatment. At 48 h postslaughter, subprimals were removed, vacuum-packaged, and aged for an additional 5 d. After aging, the M. quadriceps femoris was cut into 2.54-cm-thick steaks and allowed to bloom 1 h. For the M. rectus femoris (REC) and M. vastus lateralis (VAL), L* values significantly (P < 0.050) decreased when moving from the proximal to distal position within the muscle. Similarly, a* and b* values decreased in the VAL when moving from the proximal to the distal aspect. After color measurement, steaks were vacuum-packaged and frozen (−26°C) until shear and sensory data were collected. Significant position (proximal to distal) and location effects (cranial to caudal) were noted for both muscles. However, treatment did not affect WBSF of the VAL. Although intramuscular variation existed, WBSF and sensory panel tenderness ratings were acceptable for the REC. Although WBSF values were greater and tenderness ratings were less than the REC, the VAL were not extremely tough and therefore could be used in enhancement applications.