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Storage of retort pouch beefsteak and beef stew packed under four headspace levels

Sepulveda, D., Olivas, G., Rodriguez, J.J., Warner, H., Clark, S., Barbosa-Canovas, G.
Journal of food processing and preservation 2003 v.27 no.3 pp. 227-242
water content, headspace analysis, beef, steaks, stews, ready-to-eat foods, retort pouches, food storage, storage temperature, storage time, food processing quality, shelf life, plate count, pH, oxygen, color, hardness, oxidative stability, sensory evaluation, flavor, off odors, mouthfeel, food acceptability
Changes in specific physico-chemical and sensory attributes as well as acceptability of beefsteak and beef stew Meal-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) components packed under different headspace levels (10, 20, 30 and 40 cm3) and stored at selected temperatures of 4, 27 and 38C (40, 80 and 100F) were evaluated over a six month period. No significant changes in microbial counts, pH, residual oxygen, color, hardness and oxidation occurred in retort packed beefsteak or beef stew. Unlike beefsteak, beef stew received acceptable scores by consumers during all six months of analysis. Consumers' lack of familiarity with beefsteak may have negatively influenced product acceptability. Beefsteak and beef stew acceptability and specific attributes, particularly moistness and firmness, were detrimentally affected by high storage temperatures. Headspace may be increased to 40 cm3 without significant detrimental effects on product quality and acceptability of beefsteak or beef stew.