Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2009 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report (Lincoln, NE: December, 2008). Copyright © 2008 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate acid marination to enhance tenderness of the beef bottom round (m. biceps femoris). Both experiments consisted of 3 acid types (acetic, lactic, and citric) and two concentrations (0.1 and 0.5 M in Exp. 1; 0.75 and 1.5 M in Exp. 2). There were no effects of acid marination on beef tenderness in Exp. 1, although lightness (L*) increased and redness decreased from 0 to 8 hours post-marination. Acetic and lactic acid (0.75 or 1.5 M) improved shear force values above those achieved by citric acid. Both lightness and redness permanently decreased in Exp. 2. Beef can be tenderized using lactic or acetic acid, but discoloration as a consequence of acid treatment may compromise acceptability.