This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Effects of Acetic Acid on Dark Cutting Beef




Christjohn, Colton

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Animal Sciences


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of an acetic acid product e(Lm)inate ® V distributed by Hawkins, Inc. on meat quality attributes of dark cutting beef strip loins. Three treatment application groups: 0.4%, 1.2%, and 1.6% acetic acid were compared to two USDA Select strip loins (RFN) to evaluate meat quality effects such as pH, color, cook loss, drip loss, rancidity, and sensory characteristics. The e(Lm)inate ®V product was buffered to a pH of 5.0 by Hawkins, Inc. Sixteen dark cutting beef strip loins (DFD) were each cut into four sections; one section was denoted as a control and the remaining sections were classified to a corresponding injection percentage following a replicated Latin square design. On day five after fabrication at the harvest facility, strip loins were sectioned and initial color was evaluated using a Hunter Miniscan XE Plus from the anterior end of each section and initial pH was evaluated using a waterproof pH Spear Double Junction meter (Oakton®, Vernon Hills, IL). The strip loins were then vacuum packaged and stored at 4 ± 2°C for an additional day. On day six, an initial weight was recorded for the sections denoted as one of the three injection percentages and injected using a multi needle pickle injector (Koch Günther Pökelinjektoren) and weighed again to obtain a final weight. After sections were injected, strip loin sections were vacuum packaged and stored at 4 ± 2°C for three days. After completion of the storage period, all sections were cut into three individual steaks. Steaks were recorded for 1) for sensory analysis, 2) TBARS and drip loss, and 3) cook loss and WBSF. Final color and pH readings were obtained from each section during this time. Once all readings were recorded, each of the three steaks was vacuum packaged and stored for future use. Steaks assigned for sensory analysis and TBARS were frozen and steaks assigned for cook loss and WBSF were stored at 4 ± 2°C for 3 days. Data were analyzed using the PROC Mixed procedure of SAS. Initial pH (IpH) values were not different for location (P>0.54) or treatment (P>0.68). However, a difference was seen (P<0.05) for initial pH comparing the dark cutting (DFD) loins and normal (RFN) loins (6.04 and 5.59 respectively). Final pH (FpH) values did not differ (P>0.39) for the DFD and RFN loins but there was a difference (P<0.04) between treatments. No differences were seen regarding cook loss (CL). With reference to drip loss (DL), there was a difference (P<0.02) between DFD and RFN loins. DFD loins had a lower drip loss percentage exhibiting the increased water holding capacity in DFD meat. Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) values did not differ for treatment (P>0.48) or DFD and RFN loins (P>0.15); however, there was a difference (P<0.01) in location. Initial L* (IL) values were greater for RFN loins compared to DFD loins (P<0.0003). Initial a* (Ia) values had no effect (P>0.13) on DFD or RFN loins regardless of treatment or location. However, there was a difference (P<0.0003) observed in initial b* (Ib) values comparing DFD and RFN loins. Additionally, final L* (FL), final a* (Fa), and final b* (Fb) values were different (P<0.05) for treatment levels in the DFD loins. Moreover, Fb values were greater (P<0.002) for RFN loins compared to DFD loins (15.12 and 12.78, respectively). There was no difference (P>0.05) correlating cooked L* (CookL), cooked a* (Cooka), or cooked b* (Cookb) values. Additionally, cooked internal colorimetric values were recorded and no difference (P>0.05) in L* (CIL) was attributed to DFD and RFN loins, location, or treatment. However, there was a difference (P<0.03) in cooked internal a* (CIa) values comparing DFD and RFN loins. The DFD loins had the greatest a* values at 7.88, whereas the RFN loins had a smaller a* colorimetric value of 6.56. There was no difference for a* values among location (P>0.26) or treatment (P>0.20). Also when cooked internal b* (CIb) values were evaluated, no difference (P>0.05) was seen for DFD and RFN loins as well as location or treatment. The DFD loins had a greater TBARS value (0.2157) compared to RFN (0.1930) loins but there was no difference (P>0.73) recognized. Sensory attributes were analyzed and there was no difference (P>0.05) between initial juiciness (IJ), sustained juiciness (SJ), initial tenderness (IT), sustained tenderness (ST), and beef flavor intensity (BFI). Nonetheless, there was a difference (P<0.03) for off flavor intensity (OFI) with reference to treatment.