Consumer Preferences for Beef Color and Packaging did not Affect Eating Satisfaction
We investigated whether consumer preferences for beef colors (red, purple, and brown) or for beef packaging systems (modified atmosphere, MAP; vacuum skin pack, VSP; or overwrap with polyvinyl chloride, PVC) influenced taste scores of beef steaks and patties. To test beef color effects, boneless beef top loin steaks (choice) and ground beef patties (20% fat) were packaged in different atmospheres to promote development of red, purple, and brown color. To test effects of package type, steaks and patties were pre-treated with carbon monoxide in MAP to promote development of red color, and some meat was repackaged using VSP or PVC overwrap. The differently colored and packaged meats were separately displayed for members of four consumer panels who evaluated appearance and indicated their likelihood to purchase similar meat. Next, the panelists tasted meat samples from what they had been told were the packaging treatments just observed. However, the meat samples actually served were from a single untreated steak or patty. Thus, any difference in taste scores should reflect expectations established during the visual evaluation. The same ballot and sample coding were used for both the visual and taste evaluations. Color and packaging influenced (P<0.001) appearance scores and likelihood to purchase. Appearance scores were rated red>purple >brown and PVC >VSP>MAP. Appearance scores and likelihood to purchase were correlated (r=0.9). However, color or packaging did not affect (P>0.5) taste scores. Thus, consumer preferences for beef color and packaging influenced likelihood to purchase, but did not bias eating satisfaction.
Carpenter, C. E., Cornforth, D. P. and Whittier, D. 2001. Consumer preferences for beef color and packaging did not affect eating satisfaction. Meat Science 57:359-363.