Mapping intramuscular tenderness variation in four major muscles of the beef round

B. J. Reuter, D. M. Wulf, R. J. Maddock

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35 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to quantify intramuscular tenderness variation within four muscles from the beef round: biceps femoris (BF), semitendinosus (ST), semimembranosus (SM), and adductor (AD). At 48 h postmortem, the BF, ST, SM, and AD were dissected from either the left or right side of ten carcasses, vacuum packaged, and aged for an additional 8 d. Each muscle was then frozen and cut into 2.54-cm-thick steaks perpendicular to the long axis of the muscle. Steaks were broiled on electric broilers to an internal temperature of 71°C. Location-specific cores were obtained from each cooked steak, and Warner-Bratzler shear force was evaluated. Definable intramuscular shear force variation (SD = 0.56 kg) was almost twice as large as between-animal shear force variation (SD = 0.29 kg) and 2.8 times as large as between-muscle variation (SD = 0.20 kg). The ranking of muscles from greatest to least definable intramuscular shear force variation was BF, SM, ST, and AD (SD = 1.09, 0.72, 0.29, and 0.15 kg, respectively). The BF had its lowest shear force values at the origin (sirloin end), intermediate shear force values at the insertion, and its highest shear force values in a middle region 7 to 10 cm posterior to the sirloin-round break point (P < 0.05). The BF had lower shear force values toward the ST side than toward the vastus lateralis side (P < 0.05). The ST had its lowest shear force values in a 10-cm region in the middle, and its highest shear force values toward each end (P < 0.05). The SM had its lowest shear force values in the first 10-cm from the ischial end (origin), and its highest shear force values in a 13-cm region at the insertion end (P < 0.05). Generally, shear force was lower toward the superficial (medial) side than toward the deep side of the SM (P < 0.05). There were no intramuscular differences in shear force values within the AD (P > 0.05). These data indicate that definable intramuscular tenderness variation is substantial and could be used to develop alternative fabrication and(or) merchandising methods for beef round muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2594-2599
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Beef
  • Muscles
  • Tenderness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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