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- beef rounds; in-home consumer survey; meat tenderization
An in-home evaluation of beef value cuts from the round was conducted to determine ways to improve palatability attributes for steaks prepared by consumers. The M. vastus lateralis, M. rectus femoris, M. semimembranosus, and M. adductor (n = 266) muscles were either blade tenderized, enhanced with a salt and phosphate solution, or served as a control. Consumers (n = 261) cooked these steaks as they normally would and were asked to document cooking method and degree of doneness, as well as palatability ratings for overall like, tenderness, juiciness, flavor intensity, and flavor desirability for each steak. Enhancing round muscles with a salt and phosphate solution improved most palatability traits compared to those that were blade tenderized or not treated. For M. semimembranosus and M. vastus lateralis, the enhanced steaks received higher (P < 0.05) ratings for all palatability traits. For the most part, cooking method and degree of doneness had little influence on consumer palatability ratings. Where differences occurred, they were muscle specific, which may allow limited recommendations for certain muscles with respect to the most appropriate cooking method and degree of doneness.