The retail display life of steaks prepared from chill stored vacuum and carbon dioxide-packed sub-primal beef cuts
Bell, R.G.; Penney, N.; Moorhead, S.M.
Meat Science 42(2): 165-178
ISSN/ISBN: 0309-1740 PMID: 22060682 DOI: 10.1016/0309-1740(95)00031-3
Chilled striploins and cube rolls from ten Australian steers (grain-fed for 150 days) were trimmed of external fat and cut transversely into portions approximately 10 cm thick, each weighing between 750 and 1000 g. These 'retailer-ready' cuts were each wrapped in drip saver pads and slid inside a plastic sleeve before being individually placed into a clear plastic high oxygen barrier film, metallized film or conventional vacuum bag. Cuts in clear plastic and metallized film packs were packaged in an oxygen-free saturated carbon dioxide atmosphere (CO-2-CAP), those in vacuum bags were conventionally vacuum-packed. All packs were returned to the chiller for further cooling. After 24 hr, half the clear plastic and metallized CO-2-CAP packs were carbon dioxide master-packed in groups of eight. Retailer-ready cuts in both clear plastic and metallized film single unit and master-packed CO-2-CAP packs were air freighted to New Zealand and sea freighted to Japan for assessment. The control vacuum packs were all consigned to New Zealand. Assessments in both countries after 39-89 days storage at between 0 degree C and -1.0 degree C indicated that fat colour stability limited the retail display life of steaks cut from meat in these retailer-ready packs to approximately 48 hr. In this regard, meat from single unit CO-2-CAP, master pack CO-2-CAP and vacuum packs performed similarly. Lean meat colour and sensory attributes remained acceptable for up to 48 hr after displayed product was rejected because of grey-green fat discoloration. The microbiological status of retailer-ready cuts removed from CO-2-CAP packs after 89 days chilled storage was superior to that of cuts from vacuum packs. Clear plastic and metallized film CO-2-CAP packs performed comparably.