Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Jerrad F. Legako


Jerrad F. Legako


Karin Allen


Silvana Martini


The objective of this study was to determine the influence of quality grade (QG) and degree-of-doneness (DOD) on thermophysical properties of beef strip steaks. The “Prime” eating experience must be marketed to compete with cheaper protein sources, and so palatability is a major concern with beef products. Thermal and physical properties help shed light on the impacts various components have on beef palatability, mainly tenderness and juiciness. Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and the textural property of springiness are both influenced by a combination of QG and DOD. This is also true for viscoelasticity and the degradation of myosin and sarcoplasmic protein. Although many factors contribute to beef palatability, intra-muscular fat (IMF) content is usually given the most credit when presented to the consumer. However, QG only impacted raw steak weight, cooking duration, cohesiveness, and moisture interactions. DOD influenced more properties including cooking duration and cook loss percent conductivity, various textural properties, protein degradation (even before cooking), and moisture interactions. Generally speaking, these textural properties resulted in less favorable values as DOD increased, but that was not only the case. Thermal properties and protein degradation values simply showed unique differences between DOD (including refrigerated and room-temperature sampling) and did not always follow a trend. These results show that although over-cooking can be mitigated with high IMF content for tenderness, DOD has more of an effect on many of the palatability characteristics. Furthermore, more research will need to be conducted to fully understand the differences between some of our more intricate tests between QG and DOD.



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