1Sernick Group, Bethlehem, Free State, South Africa
Consumers worldwide are becoming more demanding about their preference for beef and it is evident from the switch from quantity to quality issues that consumers raise in the market. This is expressed by the increased interest in importance of eating quality and food safety. Eating quality is a main concern to the consumer which include juiciness, tenderness and flavor. A total of 77% of consumers rated tenderness as being the most important attribute when buying and consuming beef. Tenderness is therefore crucial to the consumer; hence the producer must comply to this consumer preference to sell its product. One method to improve the quality of beef is to make use of ageing (Strydom et al., 1999). The problem is however that different ageing methods, such as dry and wet ageing, as well as different ageing periods exist. This different methods and periods also have different cost implications for the butcher. In order the meet the consumer’s quality demands the correct ageing method must be followed to meet the needs, while the cost implications for the butcher also must be kept in mind. The objective of the study was to investigate consumers’ sensory tasting evaluation of different beef aging methods and periods. Specific evaluation with regards to tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking was done. Sirloin steak from Bonsmara cattle were used and homogeneously prepared for the 197 blind consumer tastings. The five different aging treatments, offered to each consumer included (1) no-aging, (2) 7 days wet-aging, (3) 21 days wet-aging, (4) 7 days dry- aging, and (5) 21 days dry-aging. The effect of different ageing methods on the sensory parameters was analyzed with one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means compared with the Tukey-Kramer multiple comparison test at α = 0.05 (NCSS, 2016). The results indicated that significant difference occur between all the meat attributes of any of the aging periods compared to no-aging. It is however interesting to note that while consumers prefer 21 days aged beef above 7 days aged, they were not able to differentiate between wet and dry aged samples of the same period. It is evident from the results that ageing does improve the quality attributes of beef, that longer ageing is preferred to shorter ageing, but that no preference could be made between wet and dry ageing. Since no attention was given to the cost implications of the different ageing methods, it is recommended that future studies should attend to it. The reality however is that the moisture loss of dry-ageing will have a negative influence on the weight of the final cut and therefor it is predicted that wet-ageing will be the preferred option of butchers.
Phillip OosthuizenStudies:- BSc Agric in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics- BSc Agric Honors in Agricultural Economics- MSc Agric in Agricultural Economics Registered for PhD in Agricultural EconomicsWork:- Research assistant at Department of Agricultural economics, University of the Free State- Agricultural Business Manager at Nedbank- Head of Research and Economics at Sernick group