Changes in drip loss and water holding capacity during beef aging in Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Limousine, and Simmental cattle breeds

Ardıçlı S. , Üstüner H. , Arslan Ö.

II. International Congress of the Turkish Journal of Agriculture - Food Science and Technology (TURJAF 2021), Gazimagusa, Cyprus (Kktc), 25 - 29 October 2021, vol.1, pp.359

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: Gazimagusa
  • Country: Cyprus (Kktc)
  • Page Numbers: pp.359


The demand for high-quality beef has been increasing in recent years. Hence, the improvement of beef quality characteristics is one of the main objectives to positively influence consumers’ choices in the meat marketplace, especially for upscale restaurants or specialty shops. Although the common trend in beef quality studies is mostly on tenderness; drip loss and water holding capacity are important indicators to determine certain correlated quality characteristics, such as juiciness, and to evaluate technological properties of meat. Another important point is that aged beef is getting more popular. But the scientific studies on the corresponding subject seem to be limited. Therefore this study was designed to evaluate the changes in drip loss and water holding capacity during different periods of beef aging. A total of 40 beef samples were obtained from Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Limousine, and Simmental bulls. Animals of the same age (468.50±2.52 d) and slaughter weight (608.15±2.11 kg) were selected. They were slaughtered on the same day at a commercial abattoir and were dressed using standard commercial procedures. In this context, the longissimus dorsi muscle was removed from half of the carcass. Each sample was divided longitudinally into two sections resulting in four samples for each animal. Initially, the analyzes were performed using fresh beef samples (day 0), and then beef samples were each aged for 24h, 72h, and 7 days at 4°C to compare the water loss values through the aging period. After the moisture on the outer surfaces of the samples was carefully dried with a paper towel, it was weighed on a precision balance (Radwag AS220/C/2, capacity 220 g, readability 0.10 mg, Bracka, Poland) and the weighing result was recorded as the initial weight (IW). The sample was placed in a transparent bag and finally weighed again after keeping it at the corresponding aging periods and recorded as the final weight (FW).  Drip loss (also known as the passive water loss) was calculated with the following formula which expresses the ratio of passive water loss during aging timepoints: Drip loss (%) = [(IW-FW) / (IW)] × 100. Concerning water holding capacity, a meat sample weighing 5 g was placed on 10 cm diameter filter papers between two petri plates and was pressed under 2.25 kg for 5 min. Following the removal of the filter papers and the weight, water holding capacity, as a percentage, was calculated as (final filter weight – initial filter weight) / meat sample weight × 100. Testing homogeneity of variances was performed with the Anderson-Darling test. The data were considered as repeated measures 24h, 72h, 7 days aging treatments) and statistically analyzed by using Friedman’s test with the post hoc comparison by the Dunn’s test. Results revealed that significant differences were found between breeds through aging treatments regarding drip loss (P<0.05). In this context, beef samples obtained from Aberdeen Angus cattle had the lowest drip loss while samples of Charolais lost the highest amount of water passively during the aging time. No significant difference in water holding capacity was seen between groups. Data from the present study indicate that aging affected the drip loss considering Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Limousine, and Simmental breeds. Further investigation is needed to understand biochemical processes during beef aging and the development of meat tenderness.