Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in 2007 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2006 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Volatile off-flavor compounds are present in beef. Using purge and trap gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, some volatile compounds were shown to have different concentrations in normal-flavored beef, compared to samples with liver-like off-flavor. Most of the compounds, like pentanol, hexanal, hexanol, 1–octen–3–ol, and nonanol, are associated with lipid oxidation. The compounds, β-pinene and 1-octen-3-ol were in higher concentration in the liver-like samples in all muscles tested. Several, small, unidentified peaks also differed between samples. Determination of the possible origins of these compounds may improve the quality and consistency of beef products.