IJAFR, vol. 62, 2023
Consumer assessment, in Ireland and the United Kingdom, of the impact of the method of suspension of carcasses from dairy-origin bulls and steers, on the sensory characteristics of the longissimus muscleThe objective was to compare the assessment of beef produced in Ireland from a 19-month bull or a 24-month steer dairy beef production system by consumers in Ireland (Cork) and the United Kingdom (Belfast and Reading). Carcass sides were suspended by the Achilles tendon or by the pelvic bone and 21-d aged longissimus muscle assessed using Meat Standards Australia protocols. Carcass weight and classification were similar for bulls and steers. Consumers in Belfast and Cork rated aroma liking, tenderness, juiciness, overall liking and the composite meat quality score (MQ4) similarly, but lower (P < 0.05) than consumers in Reading. Consumers in Belfast and Cork rated flavour liking similarly as did consumers in Cork and Reading, but consumers in Reading rated flavour liking higher (P < 0.05) than consumers in Belfast. Muscle from steers had higher scores for aroma liking, flavour liking, overall liking and MQ4 scores than bulls (P < 0.05). On average, pelvic suspension increased (P < 0.05) the scores for aroma liking and flavour liking compared with conventional suspension but increased (P < 0.05) tenderness, juiciness, overall liking and MQ4 scores only in bulls. Consumers in Reading rated striploin from the traditional Achilles tendon-suspended steers similarly to striploin from pelvic-suspended bulls (MQ4 score of 71.8 and 68.2, respectively). Beef from the latter system could replace the traditional steer beef in this market, thereby benefiting the beef producer and the environment.