Effects of freezing and thawing on microbiological and physical-chemical properties of dry-aged beef

Meat Sci. 2020 Mar;161:108003. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2019.108003. Epub 2019 Nov 8.


This study evaluated the effects of freezing, prior to and after dry aging, on the microbiological and physical-chemical quality of beef. Strip loins (n = 24) from 12 carcasses were assigned to four treatments: non-frozen dry aging (Dry); dry aging, steak fabrication, freezing and slow thawing (Dry + ST); freezing, fast thawing (FT; 20 °C/15 h) and dry aging (FT + Dry); freezing, slow thawing (ST; 4 °C/48 h) and dry aging (ST + Dry). Freezing conditions were - 20 °C/28 days and dry aging conditions were 2 °C/70% relative humidity, for 28 days. Freezing prior to dry aging did not affect the microbial counts compared to Dry. However, FT + Dry and ST + Dry increased (16%) total process loss (P < .05) compared to Dry and Dry+ST. Moreover, freezing changed volatile compounds profile. Thus, freezing prior to dry aging was not a feasible process due to increased process loss, while freezing after dry aging was considered a viable alternative to preserve the steaks without compromising beef physical-chemical traits.

Keywords: Dry-aged beef; Freezing; Microbiological beef quality; Thawing; Volatile compounds.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Color
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Microbiology / methods*
  • Food Quality*
  • Food Storage / methods
  • Freezing*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Physical Phenomena
  • Red Meat / analysis*
  • Red Meat / microbiology*
  • Shear Strength
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / chemistry
  • Time Factors
  • Water / chemistry


  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Water