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Comparative study of methods for determining instrumental tenderness (Warner Bratzler shear force and slice shear force) and sarcomere length (laser diffraction and phase contrast microscopy) of beef


The Brazilian cattle industry has becoming globally excelled, under production scenario, types of products, and production volumes, however it is not uncommon heard about consumers unhappy regarding meat quality, especially tenderness, which is the most important trait that influences acceptance. There are several factors that can affect tenderness, so it is necessary standardized and sensitive methodologies, able to identify differences in this attribute. For tenderness evaluation it can be used at least two methods, the subjectives (sensory analysis) and objectives (mechanical). Among the objective methods, the Warner Bratzler is the oldest and most prevalent protocol, however a new technology has demonstrated better correlation with sensory tenderness, which is the Slice Shear Force. One of the main factors affecting meat tenderness is the binomial time x temperature during cooling of carcasses, which, in specific situations, can promote marked shortening of sarcomeres, and overshadow the results of tenderness. The sarcomere length can be measured directly by phase contrast microscopy, or indirectly by laser diffraction. In phase contrast microscopy, which requires more preparation steps and more time to be performed, the results are not affected by technical artifacts, unlike what can happen in the laser, which is much more practical and fast. The objective of this research is to compare the viability and efficiency of two techniques for determining the sarcomere length and two protocols for evaluation of instrumental tenderness of beef. (AU)

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