POST-MORTEM MECHANICAL INJECTION OF LOW QUALITY BEEF LOINS WITH PORK BACK FAT IMPROVES PALATABILITY ATTRIBUTES
Palatability attributes of beef striploin steaks mechanically enhanced with pork fat were evaluated. Beef striploins were collected from USDA Standard steer carcasses. Loins were longitudinally cut into halves (lateral or medial) and assigned randomly to pork fat injection (PFI) or non-injected control (CON). Loin halves assigned to PFI were enhanced with cooked (>71°C) pork fat using a multi-needle injector. Steaks were analyzed via Warner-Bratzler shear force, trained and consumer sensory panels, and proximate analysis (cooked and uncooked). Shear force values for PFI steaks were lower (P<0.01) than CON steaks (2.50 vs. 4.44 kg, respectively). Trained panelists detected (P=0.02) an off-flavor for PFI steaks but were unable to discern other attribute differences. Consumer panelists denoted (P=0.05) improved tenderness and overall preference (P=0.01) for the PFI treatment. Cooked PFI steaks had less (P<0.01) moisture (-1.0%) and more (P<0.01) fat (+1.3%) than CON steaks; protein did not differ (P=0.14). This processing method deserves further investigation for new product development.