The objective of this study was to define the biochemical differences that govern tenderness and palatability of economically important muscles from the beef round using cuts with known tenderness differences. At 24h postmortem, the longissimus dorsi (LD), gracillus (GR), adductor (AD), semimembranosus (SM), sartorius (SAR), vastus lateralis (VL), and vastus intermedius (VI) muscles were removed from ten market weight beef cattle. Sensory and biochemical characteristics were determined in each cut and compared with the LD. The GR, SAR and VI had sensory traits similar to the LD while the SM, AD and VL differed. The GR, SAR, AD, and SM all had multiple biochemical characteristics similar to the LD, while the VI and AD had numerous biochemical differences. While no one biochemical characteristic can be used to predict tenderness across all muscles, analysis of the biochemical characteristics revealed that in most beef round cuts postmortem proteolysis provided a good indication of the tenderization occurring during aging.
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