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Measuring Tenderness in Beef and Pork Loins

20 February 2015

The shear force measurements and hence the tenderness of loin muscles for both beef and pork can be standardised by taking square samples from the core of the muscle.

A Brazilian study comparing the Warner–Bratzler shear force values between round and square cross-section cores from cooked beef and pork Longissimus muscle found that correlations between round and square cores were strong for beef and pork meat.

The study by a research team from Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA) and , Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV) in Minas Gerais was conducted to investigate the effect of core sampling on Warner–Bratzler shear force evaluations of beef and pork loins (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscles) and to determine the relationship between them.

The team of Douglas R.G. Silva, Robledo A. Torres Filho, Henrique P. Cazedey, Paulo R. Fontes, Alcinéia L.S. Ramos and Eduardo M. Ramos used steaks of 2.54 cm from beef and pork loins that were cooked.

Then five round cross-section cores and five square cross-section cores of each steak were taken for shear force evaluation.

Higher average values and standard deviation were observed for shear force of square cores.

The researchers said that core sampling influenced both beef and pork shear force values with higher (P < 0.05) average values and standard deviations for square cross-section cores.

There was a strong and linear relationship (P < 0.01) between round and square cross-section cores for beef (R2 = 0.78), pork (R2 = 0.70) and for beef + pork (R2 = 0.82) samples.

These results indicate that it is feasible to use square cross-section cores in Warner–Bratzler shear force protocol as an alternative and potential method to standardize sampling for shear force measurements.

The research has been published in the May 2015 issue of Meat Science.

Further Reading

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January 2015

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