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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Meat Science

Improving the lean muscle color of dark-cutting beef by aging, antioxidant-enhancement, and modified atmospheric packaging1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 95 No. 12, p. 5378-5387
    Received: July 28, 2017
    Accepted: Sept 16, 2017
    Published: November 2, 2017

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. M. Willsa,
  2. R. M. Mitaceka,
  3. G. G. Mafia,
  4. D. L. VanOverbekea,
  5. D. Jaronia,
  6. R. Jadejaa and
  7. R. Ramanathan 2a
  1. a Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078


The objective was to evaluate the effects of wet-aging, rosemary-enhancement, and modified atmospheric packaging on the color of dark-cutting beef during simulated retail display. No-roll dark-cutting strip loins (n = 12; pH > 6.0) were selected from a commercial packing plant within 3 d postharvest. Using a balanced incomplete block design, dark-cutting loins were sectioned in half, and assigned to 1 of 3 aging periods: 7, 14, or 21 d. After respective aging, each aged section was divided into 3 equal parts, and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 enhancement treatments: nonenhanced dark-cutting, dark-cutter enhanced with 0.1% rosemary, and dark-cutter enhanced with 0.2% rosemary. Following enhancement, steaks were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 packaging treatments: high-oxygen modified atmospheric packaging (HiOx-MAP; 80% O2 and 20% CO2), carbon monoxide modified atmospheric packaging (CO-MAP; 0.4% CO, 69.6% N, and 30% CO2), and polyvinyl chloride overwrap (PVC; 20% O2). Instrumental and visual color measurements were recorded during 5 d simulated retail display. Lipid oxidation was determined utilizing the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) method. There was a significant packaging × enhancement × display time interaction for a* values and chroma (P < 0.001). On d 0 of display, dark-cutting steaks enhanced with 0.1% and 0.2% rosemary and packaged in HiOx-MAP had greater (P < 0.001) a* values and chroma than other dark-cutting packaging/enhancement treatments. A significant packaging × enhancement × display time interaction resulted for L* values (P < 0.001). Dark-cutting steaks enhanced with 0.2% rosemary and packaged in HiOx-MAP was lighter (P < 0.001; greater L* values) than other dark-cutting treatments on d 5 of display. There were no differences (P = 0.34) in discoloration scores on d 5 among different dark-cutting treatments when steaks were packaged in HiOx- and CO-MAP. There was an aging period × enhancement × packaging interaction (P < 0.0033) for lipid oxidation. On d 0 of display, there were no differences (P = 0.54) in TBARS values between different aging periods and enhancement treatments. Dark-cutting steaks enhanced with 0.2% rosemary had lower (P < 0.001) TBARS values than 0.1% rosemary on d 5 when aged for 21 d and in HiOx-MAP. The results suggest that rosemary enhancement with CO- or HiOx-MAP has the potential to improve the surface color of dark-cutting beef.

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