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The identification of dark cutting beef carcasses in Australia, using Nix Pro Color Sensor™ colour measures, and their relationship to bolar blade, striploin and topside quality traits

Holman, Benjamin W.B., Kerr, Matthew J., Morris, Stephen, Hopkins, David L.
Meat science 2019 v.148 pp. 50-54
beef carcasses, beef quality, color, cooking quality, cutting, dark cutting meat, drip loss, linear models, pH, sarcomeres, Australia
Within 24 h post-mortem, loin surfaces of Australian beef carcasses (n = 436) were evaluated using the Nix Pro Color Sensor™ (NIX). The potential for colorimetrics (L*, a*, b*, hue and chroma) to discriminate between dark cutting (DC) and non-dark cutting (nDC) carcasses was compared. For this purpose, a chroma threshold of 30.5 delivered maximum total sensitivity and specificity. The bolar blade, striploin and topside from a selection of DC and nDC carcasses were also removed, aged for 14 d and tested for shear force, drip loss, cooking loss, ultimate pH, colour change over 3 d display (ΔE), and sarcomere length. Association between chroma values and these quality traits were investigated by linear models. The hypothesis of zero slope was rejected (P < 0.05) for pH on striploin and topside, but the models had poor predictive ability (R2 = 0.23). The NIX was found to be a viable grading tool, with limited capacity to provide additional insights into beef quality.