Nondestructive Evaluation of Wet Aged Beef by Novel Electrical Indexes: A Preliminary Study

Foods. 2019 Aug 2;8(8):313. doi: 10.3390/foods8080313.


The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) as a nondestructive quality monitoring tool of aged beef, focusing on the development of accurate electrical indexes. The relationship between the electrical indexes derived from the impedance ratio (IR) or admittance was established. Quality parameters such as the drip loss, cooking loss, water-holding capacity, and shear force of beef loin wet-aged for 0 to 21 days were evaluated to develop the new electrical indexes. In addition, the predictive capability of EIS was trialed using different indexes and frequencies. This study revealed that the most appropriate choice is to use electrical parameters at a lower frequency to determine or predict the physical properties of aged beef. The IR was derived from the ratio between the electrical impedance measured parallel to and perpendicular to the muscle fibers in the low-frequency domain. Furthermore, the degradation of muscle fibers was observed by optical microscopy. The investigated electrical indexes had higher correlations with shear force (0.52 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.58) compared to correlations with aging days (0.34 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.39). The findings of the study could be used for meat quality inspection in slaughterhouses as well as during aging.

Keywords: electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS); electrode; meat quality; optical microscopy; texture.