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Muscle biology can indicate eating quality across muscles

In this study published in Animal (2015) 9:1, pp 179–190, the ability of the biochemical measurements, heme Iron, IMF% (intramuscular fat), moisture content and total, soluble and insoluble collagen contents, to predict untrained consumer sensory scores both across different muscles and within the same muscle from different carcasses were investigated. Sensory scores from 540 untrained French consumers for tenderness, flavour liking, juiciness and overall liking were obtained on a 100-point scale for six muscles; outside (m. biceps femoris), topside (m. semimembranosus), striploin (m. longissimus), rump (m. gluteus medius), oyster blade (m. infraspinatus) and tenderloin (m. psoas major) from each of 18 French and 18 Australian studied cattle. The four sensory scores were weighted and combined into a single score termed MQ4 (« Meat Quality 4 ») which was also analysed. When evaluated across the six different muscles, all biochemical measurements, except soluble collagen content, had a significant effect on all of the sensory scores and MQ4. The average magnitude of impact of IMF%, heme iron, moisture content, total and insoluble collagen contents across the four different sensory scores were 34.9, 5.1, 7.2, 36.3 and 41.3 points respectively.  When evaluated within the same muscle, only IMF% and moisture contents had a significant effect on overall liking (5.9 and 6.2 respectively) and flavour liking (6.3 and 6.4 respectively).

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