Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Gordon Jones (Director), Dr. Nevil Speer, Dr. Gray

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


The cyclic nature of the beef industry is dependent on the supply and demand transaction initiated by consumers’ acceptability of quality meat products. When purchasing beef at the grocery store, consumers are dependent on USDA grades and visual appraisal; consumers expect consistency in products. Upon this appraisal, quality is determined by the color, marbling content, and texture of a particular retail cut, as well as cooked characteristics of tenderness, flavor, and juiciness. Variability in meat tenderness is a major quality defect of beef (Morgan et al., 1991b; Smith et al., 1992). A common practice used by beef processors to extend the shelf life and improve tenderness of beef products is “enhancing”. Even though enhancing products is effective for water and color retention and improved tenderness, these additives can negatively impact flavor by giving a bitter, salty or metallic taste. This experiment was conducted to determine the effect of enhancement on the eating quality of USDA Select strip loin steaks. After a training session, six students in the agriculture department at Western Kentucky University were selected to serve on a sensory panel. The panel members evaluated tenderness, juiciness, flavor, off-flavor, overall acceptability, and saltiness. The USDA Select strip loin steaks were enhanced with a 12% solution of sodium and potassium phosphate and USDA Choice strip loin steaks were non-enhanced. Results indicated the enhanced product was inferior for all palatability measures (P<.05). Enhanced USDA Select strip loin steaks were rated as being lower for tenderness, juiciness, flavor, overall acceptability, and more salty. Also, the enhanced strip loin steaks received significantly higher evaluations for off-flavor (P<.01). These data suggested that a 12% solution of sodium and potassium phosphates administered to USDA Select strip loin steaks lowered consumer satisfaction.


Agriculture | Food Processing | Other Animal Sciences