UNL Research Focuses on Predicting Steaks’ Tenderness
University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists have developed a way to predict steak tenderness before the consumer takes that first bite. The technology could be a boon to the beef industry as it would allow retailers to charge a premium for a “guaranteed tender” label.
“Beef tenderness is a primary factor in consumer satisfaction,” said Jeyamkondan Subbiah, the UNL food engineer who heads the research. “However, a sufficiently accurate, nondestructive method of on-line evaluation of tenderness continues to elude the beef industry.”
Current U.S. Department of Agriculture grading standards classify beef carcasses into quality and yield grades but do not assess tenderness. Since carcasses are not priced on the basis of tenderness, producers don’t have a financial incentive to supply a tender product.