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Meat Science
1999 National Beef Tenderness Survey  
The 1999 National Beef Tenderness Survey was commissioned to evaluate the industry for progress made in tenderness following the findings of the 1990 Survey. Unlike the first study, the 1999 version was expanded to include products from foodservice facilities in order to fully characterize the state of beef tenderness throughout the industry. 
2005 National Beef Market Basket Survey  
Results of the 2005 survey to determine the present state of the composition of raw beef in retail throughout the United States and compare data acquired through this project with that shown in the National Nutrient Data Bank and Agriculture Handbook 8-13 in order to assess appropriate revisions. 
2005 National Beef Tenderness Survey  
In 2005, The Beef Checkoff commissioned a follow-up study to the 1990 and 1999 Surveys to quantify continuing progress made by the beef industry to improve tenderness. 
American Association of Meat Processors  
The American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), is North America's largest meat trade organization. The AAMP membership has been bringing safe, wholesome, and quality meats and foods to America's tables since 1939. Membership includes more than 1,700 medium-sized and smaller meat, poultry and food businesses: slaughterers, packers, processors, wholesalers, in-home food service business, retailers, deli and catering operators, and industry suppliers. 
American Meat Institute  
AMI is a national trade association that represents companies that process 95 percent of red meat and 70 percent of turkey in the US and their suppliers throughout America. Headquartered in metropolitan Washington, DC, AMI keeps its fingers on the pulse of legislation, regulation and media activity that impacts the meat and poultry industry and provides rapid updates and analyses to its members to help them stay informed. In addition, AMI conducts scientific research through its Foundation designed to help meat and poultry companies improve their plants and their products. The Institute's many meetings and educational seminars also provide excellent networking and information-sharing opportunities for members of the industry.  
American Meat Science Association  
AMSA is a broad-reaching organization of individuals that develops and disseminates its collective food and animal science knowledge to provide meat science education and professional development. 
Beef Cutout Calculator Fact Sheet  
The cutout strategy illustrated in this fact sheet was based upon the expected subprimal yields of an average beef animal. The HCW was calculated at 62.5%, the industry accepted dressing percentage for a typical beef animal harvested in the United States. The charts included in this fact sheet are intended to highlight the strengths of the cutout calculator as it relates to its ability to estimate subprimal yields. 
Beef Decontamination Technologies  
Beef carcasses, which are initially sterile, become contaminated with bacterial pathogens via transmission of organisms from the exterior of the live animal, and/or from the environment, to the product surface. Extensive contamination, or abusive conditions that allow bacteria to reproduce, increase risk for presence of pathogenic bacteria and formation of toxins in food.  
Beef Grading  
The grade of a beef cut sold at retail can be an important selection factor for many consumers. Likewise, the grade of a beef carcass is critical to the beef producer, since the dollar value received is directly dependent upon the grade. Yet consumers and producers alike often are confused as to what grades mean, and how they are determined. 
Beef Packaging  
Fresh beef accounts for approximately 4 billion pounds and $15 billion in sales annually. Because the beef industry serves many markets, numerous demands are placed on the manufacture, distribution, sales and marketing of beef products to multiple segments of the food industry. To supply safe, high quality fresh products to its customers, the beef industry utilizes a range of packaging technologies. Beef packages must perform several functions. Packages must protect against contamination and deterioration, provide product visibility, and display label information. Packages also serve a merchandising function and must be appealing to consumers. 
Beef Value-Added Cuts  
Beef Value-Added Cuts are a recently developed line of beef cuts taken from the underutilized chuck and round. The line consists of steaks and roasts that help meat processors, manufacturers, retailers, foodservice operators and cattle producers improve overall profitability while supplying more options to their customers. They allow consumers to enjoy more great tasting steaks and roasts that are easy to prepare and often moderately priced. 
Bovine Myology and Muscle Profiling  
This site, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, provides information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian about bovine myology and muscle profiling. 
Carcass Merit Project: Finding Live Animal Traits for Better Beef  
While post-mortem technology alone could reduce the tenderness failure rate of top sirloin steaks to 18 percent, selective breeding with the top 25 percent of sires with desirable carcass traits combined with post-mortem technology could reduce the failure rate to 5 percent. 
Chemistry of Beef Flavor  
Beef flavor results from a myriad of compounds present in varying proportions that are affected by the precursor compounds available. This may depend on the breed of cattle and their diet, post-mortem changes, the muscle in which changes are occurring, addition of ingredients, storage conditions, heat treatment and postheating storage. Development of meaty, beefy flavor may be accompanied by development of a variety of off-flavors because many of the same precursor compounds are in both flavor groups. Impacting flavor requires control of all these various facets of flavor development. 
Dark, Firm and Dry Beef  
Darkcutting beef is most often known as dark, firm, and dry (DFD). DFD beef can also be called “high pH” beef as a result of an animal’s depleted muscle glycogen reserves prior to slaughter. The carbohydrate (sugar) glycogen is used as an energy source for muscle contraction and relaxation. Lactic acid is a by-product of glycogen utilization by the muscle when energy is produced in a stress event. After death, lactic acid accumulation in the meat is responsible for the pH decline from 7.0 to about 5.7 (Figure 2) during normal rigor mortis development. 
Determining the optimum beef longissimus muscle size for retail consumers  
Research was conducted in two phases to determine the optimum beef LM size for retail consumers. 
Did the Locker Plant Steal Some of My Meat?  
Determination of how much meat you should get from a market animal. 
Does Vitamin D3 Improve Beef Tenderness?  
The most recent National Beef Quality Audit estimated that the inconsistencies associated with beef tenderness potentially cost the U.S. beef industry approximately $250 million annually. According to the National Beef Tenderness Survey conducted in 1998 (Brooks et al., 2000), a great deal of tenderness improvement needs to be focused on retail cuts originating from the round. With these findings in mind, research scientists have focused their attention on developing innovative nutrition, management, or product processing technologies that address this issue. 
Dr. Temple Grandin's Web Page  
A webpage that provides links to articles authored by Dr. Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin has researched livestock behaviour during handling and transport, humane slaughter, the design of facilities and restraining systems. 
Dry Aging of Beef  
Dry aging beef to enhance its flavor and tenderness is used by a very small number of meat purveyors for upscale hotels and restaurants and by an even smaller number of retailers for the gourmet market. Dry aging is a process whereby beef carcasses, primals, and/or subprimals are stored – without protective packaging – at refrigeration temperatures for one to five weeks to allow the natural enzymatic and biochemical processes that result in improved tenderness and the development of the unique flavor that can only be described as “dry-aged beef.” 
Effect of 31 vs. 38 degree holding temperature on meat quality.  
Determination of the differences in meat product quality and microbial growth during refrigerated storage at 31°F vs. 38°F, using four different products in retail wrap. 
Efficacy of three objective systems for identifying beef cuts that can be guaranteed tender  
The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of three objective systems (prototype BeefCam, colorimeter, and slice shear force) for identifying guaranteed tender beef. 
Evaluating consumer acceptability and willingness to pay for various beef chuck muscles  
In-home consumer steak evaluations, followed by centralized laboratory-setting auctions, were used to determine consumer (n = 74 consumers) acceptability and willingness to pay for various beef chuck muscles.Consumers received two steaks from each muscle for in-home evaluations of uncooked steak appearance and cooked steak palatability. After in-home evaluation of steaks, consumers participated in a random nth price auction session to determine willingness to pay for those steaks. 
Evaluating the point of separation, during carcass fabrication, between the beef wholesale rib and the beef wholesale chuck  
This study determined whether there is a logical point of value change, related to either tenderness or consumer acceptance, at which to separate the beef carcass within the rib/chuck region. 
Food Safety Inspection Service  
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.  
Fresh Beef Marketing Opportunities due to Dietary Vitamin E  
The connection between general oxidative processes and the oxidation of oxymyoglobin in beef has been appreciated for a long time. Rancidity in lipids is due to the formation of fatty acid oxidation products, and the correlation between the oxidative processes involved with rancidity and discoloration is well-known. 
Ground Beef Shelf-Life by Package Type  
Information on the typical shelf-life of ground beef compiled by the American Meat Institute (AMI). 
Industry Guide for Beef Aging  
Postmortem aging is a critical management practice that can improve the consistency of beef tenderness; however, the two most recent National Beef Tenderness Surveys revealed variability in length of postmortem aging time of beef cuts. 
Intramuscular tenderness variation within four muscles of the beef chuck  
The i.m. tenderness variation was examined within four beef chuck muscles, the infraspinatus (IF), supraspinatus (SS), triceps brachii (TB), and serratus ventralis (SV). 
Iridescence: A rainbow of colors, causes, and concerns  
Meat purchasing decisions are influenced by product appearance more than any other quality factor because consumers interpret color as an indicator of product wholesomeness. While discoloration is commonly associated with the formation of metmyoglobin due to pigment oxidation, iridescence also can negatively impact consumer satisfaction because it is often misinterpreted as indicating the presence of chemical additives and/or microbial spoilage. 
Irradiation: Consumer Perceptions  
Irradiation is a promising food safety technology that can reduce pathogens in foods. Irradiation and its effects on food, animals and the people eating irradiated foods have been studied extensively for more than 40 years and has been proven safe and effective. Irradiated wheat flour, potatoes and spices have been available for more than 15 years. 
Meat Inspection Overview  
The safety of meat products and the protection of public health are primary concerns for the beef industry. Throughout the past few years and even today, there are many food safety challenges facing the industry. The industry has completed and is currently conducting research, identifying new and improved technologies, and exploring all opportunities to strengthen the safety of today’s meat supply. is an on-line community for red meat and poultry processors in North America. Membership is FREE. is published by the Marketing & Technology Group. 
Missouri Beef Resource Guide - End Product  
It is important for the beef industry understand the basics of the end product as it is an important part of the whole beef value chain. Learning more about beef cattle evaluation, livestock grading and market-based selling programs will help to produce a beef product that will satisfy consumers' expectations and enhance your bottom-line selling prices. 
National Beef Instrument Assessment Plan II Meeting Summary  
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association brought together a group of industry professionals who represented all segments of the beef production chain as well as company representatives from the processing, retail and foodservice sectors to address this challenge. This group was given the task of developing an action plan to address the one attribute that consumers most associate with eating quality- tenderness. 
National Beef Instrument Assessment Plan III Meeting Summary  
This group was assigned the task of developing research and implementation strategies for beef instrumentation technology over the next five years. This summary is a compilation of the reviews provided by meeting attendees. It addresses the current state of technologies related to instrument grading of beef carcasses and ongoing research related to using instruments to predict beef tenderness. 
National Meat Association  
The National Meat Association is committed to safe food, high-quality production, excellent service and supplies. Everyone related to the meat industry has something to benefit from the NMA. Packers, processors and others with grants of inspection utilize the regulatory and technical assistance, as well as HACCP support and education, provided by NMA’s regulatory arm. Equipment manufacturers benefit from the contacts, advertising and excitement generated by the association and its tradeshow, MEATXPO. 
Non-Conforming Beef Research Summit Summary  
One of the major problems facing the beef industry is the number of cattle, carcasses, and cuts that miss the broad targets of the marketplace and thus cost millions of dollars in lost revenue each year. The checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Audits have provided detailed accounts of these problems, which have been termed as “non-conformities.” 
Post-Harvest Practices for Enhancing Beef Tenderness  
The components of “taste” that determine the “overall palatability” of beef are flavor, juiciness and tenderness. Tenderness has been identified as the primary determinant of eating satisfaction among U.S. beef consumers, or equal to that of flavor. Includes an extensive bibliography. 
Pre-Harvest Cattle Management Practices for Enhancing Beef Tenderness  
Pre-harvest management of beef tenderness has become an important topic in today’s cattle industry due to the fact that tenderness is the primary determinant of eating satisfaction among beef consumers and because structural changes in the beef industry have resulted in greater vertical coordination of production, processing, and marketing activities, making it feasible to manage product attributes along the entire beef chain. 
Technical note: The effect of freezing on Warner-Bratzler shear force values of beef longissimus steaks across several postmortem aging periods  
The objective of this study was to compare fresh and frozen protocol procedures for Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) determination on steaks aged for different periods of time. 
U. S. Meat Export Federation  
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is a nonprofit trade association working to create new opportunities and develop existing international markets for U.S. beef, pork, lamb and veal. The site provides information regarding animal health and meat nutrition, world economic trade analysis and data, as well as multi-language international meat manuals. USDA and other government regulations for meat plant safety and quality control are also available along with scientific research papers from government, university and industry experts on meat producing, trading, processing and packing. 
Worker Safety  
Designed to share knowledge throughout the industry and in the public area to encourage further safety enhancement, is the online worker safety resource for the meat and poultry industry, as well as for policymakers, reporters and consumers who may have questions about workplace safety throughout the industry.  
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