Reciprocal Meat Conference Abstracts

Is Blade Tenderization Still Needed for Inherently Tender Top Sirloin Steaks?

  • A. N. Arnold (Texas A&M University)
  • R. K. Miller (Texas A&M University)
  • D. B. Griffin (Texas A&M University)
  • K. B. Gehring (Texas A&M University)
  • J. W. Savell orcid logo (Texas A&M University)
  • A. R. Murray (Texas A&M University)
  • S. B. Tindel (Texas A&M University)


ObjectivesAlthough blade tenderization has historically been used to enhance tenderness, it may create a food safety concern. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine if consumer satisfaction improves by blade tenderizing today’s inherently tender beef.Materials and MethodsPaired USDA Choice top sirloin butts (n = 20 total pieces) were collected from 10 carcasses representative of the typical carcass in today’s fed beef market. Carcasses from dairy-type cattle, Bos indicus-influenced cattle, and from cattle over 30 mo of age were not used. No selection preference was given to carcass sex class, weight, or presence or absence of black hide, but excessively heavy or light carcasses that would not yield a representative sample of what today’s consumers call an “average steak” were not selected. Subprimals were subjected to a 28-day refrigerated wet aging period before treatments were administered, with “d 0” defined as the day of carcass fabrication. Top sirloins from the left side of the carcass were blade tenderized once before portioning into steaks, whereas top sirloins from the right side of the carcass received no treatment and served as the control. Paired top sirloin butts were subjected to Warner-Bratzler Shear (WBS) force testing as a measure of objective tenderness. Consumer sensory evaluation was used to determine if consumer liking of tenderness, flavor, juiciness, and overall liking differed for steaks from blade tenderized (BT) subprimals versus those from non-blade tenderized (NBT) subprimals. Steaks were cut into fourths after cooking, with each sample (one-fourth of a steak) presented on a plate along with a metal steak knife and a plastic fork. This serving style allowed panelists to cut into the product, which sometimes influences consumer acceptability. Data were analyzed with paired t-tests using the matched pairs function of JMP (Version 12, SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC), at an alpha of 5%.ResultsConsumers assigned BT steaks higher (P < 0.05; Table 1) ratings for tenderness liking rating, flavor liking rating, and overall liking rating compared to NBT steaks. No differences (P > 0.05) were seen for juiciness liking ratings or WBS force values.ConclusionAlthough today’s beef is inherently tender, these data show that blade tenderization improved consumer sensory panel ratings for tenderness, flavor, and overall likeability for beef top sirloin steaks. Therefore, discontinuing the use of blade tenderization could result in less favorable consumer eating experiences.

Keywords: Beef, consumer panels, Warner-Bratzler shear force, blade tenderization, top sirloin

How to Cite:

Arnold, A. N. & Miller, R. K. & Griffin, D. B. & Gehring, K. B. & Savell, J. W. & Murray, A. R. & Tindel, S. B., (2018) “Is Blade Tenderization Still Needed for Inherently Tender Top Sirloin Steaks?”, Meat and Muscle Biology 2(2). doi:



Published on
01 Apr 2018
Peer Reviewed