Factors affecting flavour development in beef Chris R. Kerth, Texas A&M University, USA
Mackintosh and Hall (1936) reported that, as early as 1750, animal breeders initially gave some thought to the eating qualities of their product, which gave a basis for the modern breeds of cattle to be developed. Even then, most of the emphasis was on the tenderness and juiciness with little thought given to the overarching term of palatability. Not until about 1885 was there any emphasis on measuring palatability, but these studies were soon dropped in favour of studies regarding the economies of production. In 1924, however, there was a concerted effort on the part of animal scientists to analyse the palatability of meat by the USDA and a number of state agricultural experiment stations. It was a result of these experiments over a span of nearly a decade that Mackintosh and Hall concluded that the degree of finish or fatness of beef appeared to be associated with palatability. They concluded that an increasing degree of finish resulted in tenderness, juiciness and flavour being more intense and that the evidence seemed to justify the old-time belief that fat improves the palatability of the meat.