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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.