Does trimming external fat before cooking affect palatability and calorie content of beef ribeye steaks?

Citation

Leighton, P.L.A., Lopez-Campos, O., Zawadski, S., Thacker, R., Schmidt, B., Scott, H., Hudson, L., Prieto, N. (2023, August 20-25). Does trimming external fat before cooking affect palatability and calorie content of beef ribeye steaks? ICoMST2023, Padova, Italy.

Résumé en langage clair

Introduction: Health experts have recently encouraged consumers to remove excess fat from meat prior to cooking. This practice, however, might be detrimental to meat eating quality. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of removing the external fat before cooking on the palatability and calorie content of beef ribeye steaks.
Materials and Methods: Twenty longissimus thoracis muscles with Canada AAA (n=10) and AA (n=10) quality grades (equivalent to USDA Choice and Select, respectively) were obtained from a federally inspected commercial slaughter plant, vacuum packaged and transported under refrigerated conditions to the Lacombe Research and Development Centre (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). The muscles were aged for an average of 28 d and, subsequently, removed from the vacuum packaging and fabricated into four 2.54-cm steaks. Half of the steaks were trimmed to 0.635 cm of external fat (cap on). The remaining steaks were completely trimmed of external and seam (kernel) fats (cap off), and the longissimus and spinalis dorsi muscles were combined with butcher’s twine. Steaks were cooked on an electric grill to an endpoint temperature of 74°C in the center of the steak and cooking time and losses were measured. Subsequently, descriptive sensory analyses were performed by a 10-member trained meat evaluation panel and calorie analyses were conducted. The effects of external fat presence/absence on meat palatability and calorie content were assessed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) in the MIXED procedure of Statistical Analysis Software (SAS, Version 9.4).
Results and Discussion: The AA steaks with cap on cooked faster and had less cooking losses than steaks cooked with cap off. Compared to muscles of AA steaks cooked with cap off, the AA steaks cooked with cap on had longissimus with higher initial and sustained juiciness and a tendency towards a smaller proportion of panelists detecting livery off-flavour and mealy texture, and spinalis with a tendency towards a lower frequency of panelists detecting unidentified off-flavours and spongy texture. Likewise, the AAA steaks with cap on cooked faster and tended to have less cooking losses than steaks cooked with cap off. When cooking the AAA steaks with cap on, the longissimus had a lower frequency of panelists detecting ‘other’ off-flavours (i.e., burnt, rancid, barnyard, stale) and mushy texture and tended to have lower off-flavour intensities, whereas the spinalis had higher beef flavour intensity and desirability and a smaller proportion of panelists tending to detect ‘other’ off-flavours (i.e., burnt, fatty, oily, rancid), compared to steaks cooked with cap off. The more pronounced flavour effects in the spinalis compared to the longissimus of AAA steaks cooked with cap on could be due to the spinalis potentially having higher endpoint temperatures than the longissimus muscles, which probably caused more Maillard reactions and more efficient fat melting. Regardless of the quality grade and muscle type, cooking steaks with cap on did not increase the calorie content compared to the steaks cooked with cap off.
Conclusion: Overall, cooking ribeye steaks with external fat had positive effects on juiciness, flavour and texture without increasing the calorie content compared to steaks cooked without external fat. Educating consumers on the benefits of maintaining the external fat while cooking will improve the eating experience of Canadian beef.

Résumé

Introduction: Health experts have recently encouraged consumers to remove excess fat from meat prior to cooking. This practice, however, might be detrimental to meat eating quality. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of removing the external fat before cooking on the palatability and calorie content of beef ribeye steaks.
Materials and Methods: Twenty longissimus thoracis muscles with Canada AAA (n=10) and AA (n=10) quality grades (equivalent to USDA Choice and Select, respectively) were obtained from a federally inspected commercial slaughter plant, vacuum packaged and transported under refrigerated conditions to the Lacombe Research and Development Centre (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). The muscles were aged for an average of 28 d and, subsequently, removed from the vacuum packaging and fabricated into four 2.54-cm steaks. Half of the steaks were trimmed to 0.635 cm of external fat (cap on). The remaining steaks were completely trimmed of external and seam (kernel) fats (cap off), and the longissimus and spinalis dorsi muscles were combined with butcher’s twine. Steaks were cooked on an electric grill to an endpoint temperature of 74°C in the center of the steak and cooking time and losses were measured. Subsequently, descriptive sensory analyses were performed by a 10-member trained meat evaluation panel and calorie analyses were conducted. The effects of external fat presence/absence on meat palatability and calorie content were assessed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) in the MIXED procedure of Statistical Analysis Software (SAS, Version 9.4).
Results and Discussion: The AA steaks with cap on cooked faster (P<0.001) and had less cooking losses (P<0.01) than steaks cooked with cap off. Compared to muscles of AA steaks cooked with cap off, the AA steaks cooked with cap on had longissimus with higher initial and sustained juiciness (P<0.01) and a tendency towards a smaller proportion of panelists detecting livery off-flavour (P=0.058) and mealy texture (P=0.071), and spinalis with a tendency towards a lower frequency of panelists detecting unidentified off-flavours (P=0.096) and spongy texture (P=0.096). Likewise, the AAA steaks with cap on cooked faster (P<0.01) and tended to have less cooking losses (P=0.093) than steaks cooked with cap off. When cooking the AAA steaks with cap on, the longissimus had a lower frequency of panelists detecting ‘other’ off-flavours (i.e., burnt, rancid, barnyard, stale; P<0.05) and mushy texture (P<0.05) and tended to have lower off-flavour intensities (P=0.083), whereas the spinalis had higher beef flavour intensity and desirability (P<0.05) and a smaller proportion of panelists tending to detect ‘other’ off-flavours (i.e., burnt, fatty, oily, rancid; P=0.052), compared to steaks cooked with cap off. The more pronounced flavour effects in the spinalis compared to the longissimus of AAA steaks cooked with cap on could be due to the spinalis potentially having higher endpoint temperatures than the longissimus muscles, which probably caused more Maillard reactions and more efficient fat melting. Regardless of the quality grade and muscle type, cooking steaks with cap on did not increase the calorie content compared to the steaks cooked with cap off (P>0.10).
Conclusion: Overall, cooking ribeye steaks with external fat had positive effects on juiciness, flavour and texture without increasing the calorie content compared to steaks cooked without external fat. Educating consumers on the benefits of maintaining the external fat while cooking will improve the eating experience of Canadian beef.

Date de publication

2023-08-20