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


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Meat Science 68 (2004) 371–381. DOI:10.1016/j.meatsci.2004.01.013


The present experiments were conducted to develop an optimal protocol for visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopic evaluation of meat quality. It was determined that spectra were more repeatable using a 35 mm-diameter high-intensity reflectance probe rather than a 3 mm-diameter reflectance probe. Using the high-intensity reflectance probe, spectra were generally very repeatable (e.g., repeatability at 1080 nm ranged from 0.94 to 0.99) regardless of the number (50, 40, 30, 20, or 10) of spectra averaged per observation. At each wavelength (350–2500 nm), the highest repeatability was obtained when 20 spectra were averaged. It was determined that spectra were greatly different when the length of time that the muscle was exposed to air (bloomed) before spectroscopy was increased from 2 to 60 min. However, regardless of bloom time, the repeatability of reflectance values was >0.90 at each wavelength between 462 and 1371 nm. The protocol developed in this experiment should facilitate future experiments to determine if visible and near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to accurately predict meat quality.