Effect of age and cut on cooking loss, juiciness and flavour of South African beef

28 Apr 2011

The juiciness and flavour characteristics of 15 aged primal beef cuts of electrically stimulated carcasses, from three different age groups, were assessed (n = 61). Cooking losses were determined and proximate analyses (moisture, fat, nitrogen and ash) were performed. Tender cuts were cooked by a dry heat method, and less tender cuts were cooked by moist heat methods. A trained panel (n=10) evaluated sensory quality characteristics including initial and sustained juiciness, aroma and flavour. Flavour intensity was the biggest discriminant between the three age groups and declined with an increase in age. Initial impression of juiciness decreased with increased age of the animal and cooking losses increased nonlinear with age, irrespective of the muscle. In contrast sustained juiciness increased with increased age. Cuts cooked according to a dry heat cooking method were reported juicier (both initial and sustained) than those cooked according to moist heat methods.