Section 10
Chapter 9,283

Quality and bacteriological consequences of beef carcass spray-chilling: Effects of spray duration and boxed beef storage temperature

Greer, G.G.; Jones, S.D.

Meat Science 45(1): 61-73


ISSN/ISBN: 0309-1740
PMID: 22061138
DOI: 10.1016/s0309-1740(96)00073-3
Accession: 009282717

The effects of water spray-chilling on beef carcass traits and muscle quality, bacteriology and retail case life were determined in a research abattoir. Chilling treatments were compared using 10 crossbred steer carcasses (280 +- 4 kg) at each spray duration (4, 8, 12 and 16 h) and each vacuum storage temperature (1, 4, 8 and 12 degree C). Control sides were air-chilled (1 degree C, 24 h) while spray-chilled sides were sprayed with an intermittent water mist at 1 degree C in four, 60 s cycles/h for the initial 4-16 h of chilling. The effects of storage temperature were evaluated using vacuum packaged longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle at post-chill intervals of 2, 16, 30 and 44 days. Chilling treatment effects were similar at all spray-chill durations and LT vacuum storage times and temperatures. Carcass spray-chilling did not effect pH, lean colour, % moisture, sarcomere length, shear value or weight loss during the vacuum storage of LT muscle. Carcass fat colour tended to brighten as spray duration was extended up to 12 h, but there was a grey discoloration of fat at spray durations beyond 12 h. Chilling treatment had only marginal effects on anaerobic bacteria during the vacuum storage of LT muscles, or aerobic bacteria during the retail display of rib-eye steaks, and the retail case life of steaks was largely unaffected by spray-chilling. A linear relationship between spray-chill duration and carcass weight loss was determined and carcass shrinkage was reduced by 0.08 g/100 g for every hour of spray-chilling. It was estimated that a major beef processing abattoir could utilize spray-chilling to save more than 2000 kg daily in carcass shrinkage, without compromising quality or increasing spoilage losses.

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