Effects of stepwise dry/wet-aging and freezing on meat quality of beef loins
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of stepwise dry/wet-aging and freezing method on quality attributes of beef loins. Paired loins (M. Longissimus lumborum) from eight carcasses were assigned to either stepwise dry/wet-aging (carcass dry-aging for 10days then further wet-aging for 7days in vacuum bags) or carcass dry-aging only for 17days. Then, each loin was divided into three sections for freezing (never-frozen, blast or cryogenic freezing). Stepwise dry/wet-aged loin had lower purge/drip loss and shear force than conventionally dry-aged loin (P<0.05), but similar color and sensory characteristics (P>0.05). The cryogenic freezing resulted in a significant decrease in shear force values and a significant improvement in water-holding capacity (WHC). These findings indicate that the stepwise dry/wet-aging coupled with cryogenic freezing could provide beneficial impacts to the local meat industry by providing equivalent quality attributes as conventional dry-aging and improving WHC of frozen/thawed meat, while reducing the time needed for dry-aging.
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