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


Document Type


Date of this Version



United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Nutrient Data Laboratory, September 2011


This data set provides retailers with a tool to find the most accurate beef nutrient data for the purpose of on-pack nutrition labeling. This data set focuses on the beef cuts identified by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for nutrition labeling and, in addition, some new Beef Value Cuts.

Since 1990’s, nutrient composition data for beef products in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) have been updated regularly. These updates have been important since changes in animal husbandry practices and industry procedures have led to the availability of leaner cuts, as well as the marketing of cuts not previously available. The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) has been involved in three different studies designed to update or expand the data on beef cuts in SR. These studies included the 1/8 Inch Study, the Beef Value Cuts (BVC) Study, and the Beef Nutrient Database Improvement Study.. In addition to providing current and accurate estimates for the beef data in SR, these new data are also useful for the industry to meet the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed labeling regulations for fresh, single-ingredient meats.

The 1/8 Inch Study was a collaborative research project conducted by USDA NDL, Texas A&M University, and sponsored by the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) with support from the the Beef Checkoff Program. The objective of this study was to determine the physical characteristics and nutrient composition of 13 raw and cooked retail cuts that had been fabricated with fat trim levels representative of current retail cuts. This study generated analytical data that had not previously been available in SR.

The purpose of the BVC Study was to provide information on a new line of single muscle roasts and steaks, fabricated from the outside round, the knuckle, and the chuck shoulder clod. These cuts, introduced into the retail market in 2001-2002, include the top blade steak (Infraspinatus), shoulder top and center steaks (Triceps brachii), shoulder tender (Teres major), tip center (Rectus femoris), tip side (Vastus lateralis) and bottom round (Biceps femoris). USDA’s NDL, in collaboration with NCBA, with support from the Beef Checkoff Program and the University of Wisconsin conducted this study to determine the nutrient profile of the BVC for inclusion in SR. Since there is no separable fat present in the denuded single muscles of the BVC study, nutrient values for “Separable Lean Only” and “Separable Lean and Fat” are the same. Five of these six major cuts met the USDA definition of lean1.