Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 2008. 86:972–981. Copyright ©2008 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


The objective of this study was to determine the retail shelf stability of beef chuck and round muscles enhanced with ammonium hydroxide, salt, and carbon monoxide. A split plot design was used for each of 3 muscles [triceps brachii (TB), biceps femoris (BF), and rectus femoris (RF)] with 2 treatments (0 and 20% pump), 3 dark storage periods (1, 2, and 3 wk), and 3 replications in the whole plot and retail display period as the split plot. There were a total of 12 subprimals per treatment per dark storage period (n = 72 each). Individual steaks were cut to a thickness of 2.54 cm and packaged in a modified-atmosphere package (MAP). The TB was packaged in a high-oxygen MAP (80% oxygen, 20% carbon dioxide). The BF and RF were packaged in a low-oxygen MAP (100% carbon dioxide). At the completion of each dark storage period, steaks were subjected to 7 d of simulated retail display. Steaks were used for objective and subjective color measurements, total plate counts, and determination of retail purge and oxidation. For all muscles, total plate counts were always numerically greater in injected steaks. Triceps brachii steaks held in dark storage for 3 wk and displayed at retail for 4 or more days all exceeded 107 log of cfu/cm2 for aerobic plate count. Biceps femoris and RF steaks packaged in a low-oxygen MAP had much lower bacterial counts, with levels below 4.2 log of cfu/cm2, even after 7 d of retail display. Oxidation values for the TB were extremely high (ranging from 12.3 to 26.6), whereas the BF and RF had values that were much lower (≤1.0 mg of malonaldehyde/kg of muscle), likely due to the oxidation occurring in a highoxygen MAP for the TB. Enhanced TB steaks proved to have greater color stability (less discoloration) than nonenhanced TB steaks. In addition, the BF and RF (low-oxygen MAP) steaks had better color stability (more stable redness values) than TB (high-oxygen MAP) steaks, although TB steaks initially exhibited a brighter red color. Retail display life was enhanced by packaging in 100% carbon dioxide, and enhanced steaks exhibited greater color stability in retail display than control steaks.