Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2002


Published in 2002 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Beef carcasses (n=290) were used to determine the effectiveness of color (L* - lightness; a* - redness; b* - yellowness) measured at least 90 minutes after ribbing and marbling called by USDA graders to sort beef carcasses into one of three tenderness groups. Equations using any combination of marbling and color were no more effective in sorting beef carcasses into tenderness groups than marbling alone. None of the tough carcasses were correctly classified. Adding color to marbling does not improve effectiveness of sorting beef carcasses into tenderness groups.