Influence of Storage Temperature on Vacuum Packaged Steak Characteristics
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Meat consumers utilize beef color as one of the sole indicators of product freshness. However, if the product has been previously frozen for preservation, changes may occur during thawing that hinders the consumers perception of quality and alter the safety of the product. The effect of freezing beef steaks prior to being displayed in a retail setting on their sensory attributes has not been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, the objective of the first study was to determine the effect of three different vacuum packaging films (MB, MFS, or MDF) on instrumental color values of boneless ribeye steaks during frozen storge. Throughout the frozen display period, steaks packaged in MDF were significantly (p < 0.05) lighter (L*) more vivid (C*) and possessed redder values for red-to-brown (RTB), oxymyoglobin (OMb), and hue angle from day 7 to 25. In the second study, previously frozen beef steaks with their respective vacuum packaging films were evaluated for fresh characteristics focused on the quality and safety of the product. Vacuum packaging material resulted in significant differences where steaks packaged in MB had greater (p < 0.05) values for redness (a*) and chroma (C*). Additionally, at the end of the 25 days of simulated retail display, MB steaks had fewer (p < 0.05) microbial aerobic spoilage organisms log10 CFU/g and no significant (p > 0.05) increase in lipid oxidation values. Results from these studies suggest that packaging materials can influence frozen color characteristics, as well as aid in retarding the detrimental effects caused by frozen storage which occur after placing steaks in simulated fresh retail conditions.