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Crossbred steers (n = 30) were used to explore and compare tenderness improvements in beef round and sirloin muscles resulting from various methods of pre-rigor skeletal separations. Animals were slaughtered according to industry procedures, and at 60 min postmortem one of six treatments was applied to each side: A) control, B) saw pelvis at the sirloin round junction, C) separate the pelvic-femur joint, D) saw femur at mid-point, E) combination of B and C, and F) combination of B and D. After 48 h, the following muscles were excised from each side: semi-membranosus, biceps femoris, semi-tendinosus, and adductor from the round; vastus lateralis and rectus femoris from the knuckle; and gluteus medius, biceps femoris and psoas major from the sirloin. Following a 10-d aging period, samples were removed from each muscle to determine the effect of treatment on sarcomere length and Warner-Bratzler shear force. Most skeletal separation treatments resulted in longer sarcomeres than controls for semi-membranosus, adductor, semi-tendinosus, and gluteus medius muscles. All skeletal separation treatments yielded shorter sarcomeres for the psoas major as compared with controls. Warner-Bratzler shear force differed among treatments for rectus femoris, semi-tendinosus, and psoas major. For rectus femoris, treatments C, D, E, and F resulted in lower (P < 0.05) shear values than for controls. Treatments B, D, and F increased shear force of the semi-tendinosus relative to controls (P < 0.05) within muscle. Treatment F resulted in higher shear force values for the PM than controls (P < 0.05). Correlations between sarcomere length and shear force were found to be low and quite variable among muscles. In general, treatments increased sarcomere length of several muscles from the sirloin/round region, but had mixed effects on shear force values.

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Journal of Animal Science





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American Society of Animal Science


Copyright © 2002 American Society of Animal Science

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