This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating Cookery Characteristics, Consumer Acceptability, and Electronic Assessment of Attributes in Ground Beef Patties




Douglas, Savannah

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Animal Sciences


With consumers driving beef demand, attributes such as flavor, wholesome, safe, and affordability remain at the forefront of the meat industry. Three unique studies were created and conducted to evaluate quality attributes of ground beef and are presented throughout this thesis. Consumer friendly technology such as sous vide is growing in popularity and the industry application to use across the foodservice sector is eminent. Additionally, technologies such as electronic nose and electronic tongue provide researchers the ability to analyze sensory components of a meat product without the use of human subjects. The current studies will highlight fresh and cooked characteristics of ground beef patties, explore the impact of adding alternative proteins and cooking method on sensory attributes. Sous vide cookery has gained popularity among in-home and fine dining consumers, yet its application in quick-service settings remains limited. To address this gap, ground beef patties were produced to assess how sous vide cooking time affects moisture, color, and objective tenderness. Patties cooked for 30 minutes exhibited significantly greater cook loss, Allo–Kramer Shear Force (AKSF), and darker color (L*) compared to those cooked for 60 or 90 minutes (p < 0.05). However, internal redness, chroma, hue angle, and red-to-brown values did not vary significantly across cooking times (p > 0.05). This indicates that sous vide cooking duration affects moisture, color, and texture characteristics of ground beef patties prior to grilling. In the second study, ground beef patties were cooked from frozen using various cooking methods. Evaluation of cooked patties show patties cooked on the griddle (GRID) exhibited significantly longer cooking times (p < 0.0001) compared to those cooked in the oven (OVEN) and clam shell (GARL). Additionally, GRID-cooked patties showed the highest percentage of cook loss compared to OVEN (p < 0.0001) and GARL (p = 0.0223). GRID-cooked patties required more Allo-Kramer shear force (p < 0.0001), indicating less objective tenderness compared to OVEN (p < 0.0001) and GARL (p = 0.0988). These findings highlight that the choice of cooking method significantly impacts the cooked characteristics of frozen patties. The final study aimed to evaluate the textural, color, and flavor characteristics, along with volatile compounds, of ground beef patties formulated with varying levels of beef heart inclusion. Patties were prepared with 0%, 6%, 12%, or 18% beef heart, with the remaining meat derived from shoulder clod. Overall, patties with beef heart did not require additional cooking time (p = 0.1325) nor exhibited higher cook loss (p = 0.0803). However, higher beef heart inclusion led to increased hardness (p = 0.0030) and chewiness values (p = 0.0316), deeper internal redness (p = 0.0001), and decreased consumer preference (p = 0.0367). These findings indicate that the inclusion of beef heart alters both the quality characteristics of ground beef and its consumer acceptability. Overall, results from these studies provide new foundational knowledge to an extremely popular consumer meat protein in ground beef that may elicit alternative processing and manufacturing techniques to consider throughout the meat and food industry.