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


Date of this Version


Document Type



Duarte, T.L.; Bolkenov, B.; Klopatek, S.C.; Oltjen, J.W.; King, D.A.; Shackelford, S.D.; Wheeler, T.L.; Yang, X. Evaluating the Shelf Life and Sensory Properties of Beef Steaks from Cattle Raised on Different Grass Feeding Systems in theWestern United States. Foods 2022, 11, 2141. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142141


Open access


Consumer interest in grass-fed beef has been steadily rising due to consumer perception of its potential benefits. This interest has led to a growing demand for niche market beef, particularly in the western United States. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the impact of feeding systems on the change in microbial counts, color, and lipid oxidation of steaks during retail display, and on their sensory attributes. The systems included: conventional grain-fed (CON), 20 months-grass-fed (20GF), 25-months-grass-fed (25GF) and 20-months-grass-fed + 45-day-grain-fed (45GR). The results indicate that steaks in the 20GF group displayed a darker lean and fat color, and a lower oxidation state than those in the 25GF group. However, the feeding system did not have an impact on pH or objective tenderness of beef steaks. In addition, consumers and trained panelist did not detect a difference in taste or flavor between the 20GF or 25GF steaks but expressed a preference for the CON and 45GR steaks, indicating that an increased grazing period may improve the color and oxidative stability of beef, while a short supplementation with grain may improve eating quality.