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Resting MAP Packed Steaks Before Cooking Improves Eating Quality

06 December 2014

Resting of modified atmosphere packed (MAP) beef steaks before cooking has a beneficial effect on consumer quality.

In taste tests consumers said that steaks that had been left for half an hour after they had been taken out of the pack, before cooking tastes better than those that were cooked straight from the pack.

In a study by a research team from Food Packaging Group, School of Food & Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland the meat preparation of MAP beef steak prior to cooking was investigated.

The team of Maurice G. O'Sullivan, Sandrine Le Floch and Joseph P. Kerry looked at the meat preparation effects before cooking on the sensory consumer quality of modified atmosphere (MA) packed (100 ml CO2/100 ml pack gas, 50 ml O2:20 ml CO2:30 ml N2/100 ml pack gas, 70 ml O2:30 ml CO2/100 ml pack gas and 80 ml O2:20 ml CO2/100 ml pack gas) striploin beef steak.

The beef steaks were stored at 4°C for seven days (616 lx) to simulate retail display conditions and tested by 40 consumers for appearance, liking of flavour, overall acceptability, juiciness, tenderness, oxidation flavour, off-flavour, and sourness of the resulting cooked meat.

Additionally, TVC, pH, colour, drip loss, and cooking loss were measured.

One steak from each of the experimental treatments was taken immediately from the respective modified atmosphere packs and cooked before serving straight to consumers.

A second steak from each pack was treated similarly, but left in ambient air for 30 minutes prior to cooking and serving.

Consumers said the cooked steak from samples left for 30 minutes before cooking as significantly (P < 0.05) less sour tasting than those cooked immediately.

The researchers said the sourness is due to the presence of residual CO2 being present in unrested meat samples.

And the researchers concluded that opening retail MAP beef packs (containing CO2) up to 30 minutes prior to cooking improves eating quality.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

November 2014

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