Color stability of semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris steaks packaged in a high-oxygen modified atmosphere

J. M. Behrends, W. B. Mikel, C. L. Armstrong, M. C. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The objectives of this study were to evaluate visual and chemical attributes of beefsteaks from various USDA quality grades and muscles packaged in high-oxygen (80% O2/20% CO2) modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP). A total of nine carcasses were selected to represent Select (n = 3), low Choice (n = 3), and high Choice (n = 3) USDA quality grades. The semimembranosus (SM), semitendinosus (ST), and biceps femoris (BF) muscles were removed from each carcass and allotted to two packaging types (MAP or polyvinyl chloride over-wrap) and were displayed for up to 10 d, with evaluation on d 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. Fifty-four steaks were evaluated on each day by a five-member trained panel for visual color (lean color and discoloration) and were also analyzed with a Minolta Chroma Meter CR-310 for L* and a* values (lightness and redness, respectively). Chemical properties measured included percentage of metmyoglobin formation and fat content. Visual color scores did not differ (P > 0.05) at d 1 and 3 with respect to all quality grades, but decreased after d 3, with a greater reduction (P < 0.05) in high Choice steaks for both lean color and discoloration. The low Choice steaks packaged in MAP displayed higher (P < 0.05) lean color scores and less (P < 0.05) discoloration at d 7 and 10 than did Select and high Choice steaks. Redness (a*) values also decreased (P < 0.05) after d 3, whereas (lightness) L* values declined (P < 0.05) from d 1 to 5. The high Choice steaks had higher (P < 0.05) metmyoglobin content than low Choice and Select steaks, but packaging had no effect (P > 0.05) on metmyoglobin content. Muscle type did affect metmyoglobin content; however, the metmyoglobin content of the SM was greatest (P < 0.05), followed by the BF, with the ST having the lowest (P < 0.05) metmyoglobin formation. Results indicate that low Choice steaks react the best in MAP, and the ST maintained greater storage characteristics regardless of quality grade or packaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2230-2238
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Beef
  • Meat Quality
  • Packaging
  • Steaks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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