Accelerated Conditioning Technologies
The eating quality of meat is determined by the interaction of tenderness, flavor, and juiciness. Of these traits, tenderness has been recognized as the most important, but also the most variable (Miller et al. 2001; Grunert et al. 2004; Mennecke et al. 2007). An example of the variation in the tenderness of beef and lamb is shown in Figure 2.1. Samples are 14 days aged beef striploin (M. longissimus) of about 2-year-old animals and 5 days aged lamb short loin (M. longissimus) from various breeds and crosses. The aging period is representative of a typical aging period for these cuts in Australia, and the measurements were conducted in our lab over the past 4 years. Using the results of Perry et al. (2001) as a guideline, it can be concluded that 92% of the beef samples and 84% of the lamb samples were of an acceptable level of tenderness (<5 kg). Given that the samples represent premium cuts for both beef and lamb, these results show that there is still ample room for improvement in beef and lamb tenderness.