Uniformity and quality testing of meat is an essential factor in the Scottish and United Kingdom red-meat sector. Several factors impact meat-eating qualities including from how the animals are reared to the production’s processing stage. Multiple studies have shown that meat tenderness is the highest-ranked eating-quality characteristic. The Warner-Bratzler (WB) shear force technique has traditionally been used to make objective measurements of meat texture and tenderness.
In addition, better methods for measuring meat quality and carcass can enhance red meat production’s efficiency and marketing. The Scottish Agricultural College has begun Scottish Government-funded research investigating novel predictors and measures of meat quality. This involves comparing various techniques for enhanced measurement in lamb and beef. Furthermore, this includes a new shear force test, the rapid Slice Shear Force test utilizing a TAPlus texture analyzer.
What is the Warner-Bratzler Method?
In the 1930s, this technique was formed and is often executed using a texture analysis instrument. The texture analyzer comes with a Warner-Bratzler fixture to measure the force needed to shear through a uniform piece of meat. It also consists of a rigid frame that supports a shear bar. For quality testing of meat, a person uses a triangular slotted blade. Sample steaks are also cooked and cooled, and six core samples are taken. Overall, the highest peak of this curve is the maximum shear force.
Rapid Slice Shear Force Test
Another method of shear force testing was the rapid Slice Shear Force test. It was developed in the United States and published in 1992, contributing to the beef tenderness classification system. Its system consists of a TAPlus texture analyzer involving a personalized accessory and a flat, blunt-end blade. Also, the NEXYGENPlus control and measurement software records and automatically displays the meat’s resistance to shearing as a function of time. Unlike the WB technique, this method requires one measurement per sample, which can be done after post-cooking.
While this research has emphasized shear force measurements, the TAPlus is equipped with various test jigs to produce different texture measurements like firmness, chewiness, springiness, hardness, and stringiness. For instance, the Volodkevich bite set consists of a stainless-steel probe shaped like an incisor that offers results that correlate well with meat toughness. It is hoped that enhancements in the objective measurements of carcass and quality testing of meat will improve good farm practices.
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