Certified Angus Beef Delves Into the Next Frontier in Product Research: The Flavor of BeefTue, 27 Jun 2017 14:58:22 CDT
Beef’s challenge is also its opportunity.
Meat scientist Bridgette Wasser talks about the ways lipid, carbohydrate and protein components all influence beef flavor.
“There are all these different flavor notes that are in beef,” said Bridget Wasser, executive director of meat science for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “These compounds are just waiting to be activated when we cook beef. But that adds to the complexity of beef as well because beef isn’t just does it taste good or does it not taste good. There’s just individual flavor attributes and notes and descriptive terms that we can use that all have to be turned on in the right way when we heat and cook beef to get a great beef eating experience. And so, it adds to the complexity but it also makes beef a really unique tasting food that’s unlike any other protein or any other food item out there.”
To watch a video clip featuring Bridget Wasser, executive director of meat science for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), discussing beef flavor and the “next frontier” for product research, click or tap the PLAYBOX below.
Most taste panel research says beef stands out for its “buttery, beef-fat” flavor.
“A big driver of beef’s lipid component that impacts flavor is marbling or intramuscular fat” she said. “There is such a unique flavor with that marbling fat that it’s described as a buttery, beef fat flavor that’s unique to beef and it’s not present in other proteins. That buttery, beef-fat flavor that marbling has, so it really gives us that uniqueness and a competitive advantage in that sense because that is such a preferred and like flavor by consumers.”
Genetic selection and management focusing on intramuscular fat can improve that specific flavor note.
“That marbling fat is affected by our production practices, what we feed, days on feed, grain feeding, for example, is required to get intramuscular fat or marbling and that’s worth it because it really does positively impact the flavor experience,” she explained. “And that really is why marbling is so rewarded in our beef industry and our quality grading system because it does directly impact not just flavor, but tenderness and juiciness as well, in a really big way.”
When consumers spend more on beef than competing proteins, they expect more. That’s why it’s so important for the beef community to keep making improvements.
“If they are thinking about a great beef eating experience they are thinking about those key attributes that us in the beef industry are very familiar with, like tenderness, and juiciness and flavor. Things we know have to be good in beef to have a good eating experience,” Wasser concluded. “But the consumer also things about things like how beef smells, how it looks, does it look fresh, does it smell great so it’s kind of that whole package that the consumer is looking for. They eat with their mouths but they also eat with their eyes and their nose and all their senses.”
Source - Certified Angus Beef
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