The effects of lean-to-fat ratio on the shelf life and sensory characteristics of grass-fed ground beef



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This study was conducted to determine the effect of various lean:fat ratios of grass-fed ground beef on shelf-life, color, and sensory traits during an 8-day simulated retail display. Ground beef patties with lean:fat formulations of 90:10, 85:15, and 80:20 were utilized during this study. After the retail display time, patties were removed, and instrumental color scores (L*, a*, b*), trained color and sensory panels, as well as lipid oxidation (TBARS) were evaluated. Instrumental color scores were significantly different (P < 0.05) for each day of the study for L*, a*, and b* within each treatment. Instrumental L* and b* values were significantly different (P < 0.05) for d 1 and 3 between treatments, but by d 8 no difference was detected (P > 0.05). For color panel evaluations, beef color values significantly changed each evaluation day (P < 0.05) across all treatments. Additionally, color uniformity, surface discoloration, and browning, were not significantly different between treatments on d 1 and 3. Juiciness (initial and sustained) and initial tenderness were not changed (P > 0.05) in the 80:20 treatment group across the 8-day display time. When evaluating within evaluation days, beef flavor intensity ratings were found to be statistically similar across lean:fat (P < 0.05). When evaluating within lean:fat, off-flavor was impacted by display length (P < 0.05).



Grass-Fed Beef, Shelf Life, Sensory Characteristics, Ground Beef