U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report (1988) No. 3: 50-51


Numerous studies have shown that meat from bulls is less tender than meat from steers of comparable age and feeding regimen. Collagen crosslinking has been reported to be more extensive in bulls than in steers of similar age and has been implicated as a potential cause of toughness in meat from bulls.

Several studies have shown that blade tenderization improved the tenderness of beef and decreased the amount of sensory panel-detectable connective tissue. Also, it has been reported that blade tenderization of bull muscles resulted in steaks which required less time to cook, had decreased amounts of detectable connective tissue, and had increased tenderness, flavor, and overall palatability ratings. The objectives of this study were to: (1)determine if mechanical tenderization would increase the tenderness of bull beef to a level equal to that of steer beef; and (2) determine the number of passes through a mechanical tenderizer needed to achieve this desired effect.