Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science

First Advisor

Keith Underwood


The objective of this thesis was to determine the influence of beef carcass weight on chilling and pH decline of beef carcasses, as well as color, case life and tenderness of steaks from the round, loin, rib and chuck. Twelve carcasses were allotted by hot carcass weight (HCW) into Heavyweight (HW) and Lightweight (LW) groups. Temperature decline, pH decline and thermal image temperature were measured in the round, loin, rib, and chuck for approximately 48 hours. Carcass data including 12th rib fat thickness, ribeye area, and marbling score were collected. The Semitendinosus (ST), Longissimus lumborum (LL), Longissimus thoracis (LT) and the Serratus ventralis (SV) were removed, weighed, cut into steaks for assessment of instrumental color, sensory color and Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF) analysis. HW carcasses had heavier (P < 0.05) HCW and muscle weights compared to LW. No HCW × time or HCW main effects (P > 0.05) were observed for pH decline. Ribs from HW had increased temperatures (P < 0.05) the first 25 h of chilling compared to LW but were similar for remainder of chilling period (P > 0.05). Temperature in the round was similar for the first 3 h of chilling (P > 0.05), but HW had increased temperatures for remainder of chilling (P < 0.05). Steaks from the ST of LW were more tender (P < 0.05) than HW at d 5, but were similar at d 10, 14 and 21 (P > 0.05). Steaks from the ST of HW were darker (P < 0.05) throughout the display period. On d 1 of retail display, ST steaks from HW carcasses had decreased L* value (P < 0.05), whereas the LW increased (P < 0.05). Steaks from the ST of HW had lower a* and b* values (P < 0.05) than LW. Steaks from the SV of HW had lower subjective color scores (P < 0.05) compared to LW. These data suggest the slower temperature decline observed in HW carcasses can result in some negative meat quality traits. However, further research is needed to understand the influence of HCW on chilling time and meat quality outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle -- Carcasses.
Beef cattle -- Carcasses -- Cooling.
Beef cattle -- Weight.
Beef -- Quality.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Beef Science Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright