Beef Lecture


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  • Precautions during transportation minimize stress and injury to the animals. Cattle are carefully loaded and unloaded into trailers that are specially designed to avoid injury and strain. When cattle arrive at packing plants, they are moved inside in a quiet and orderly manner. There is little excess movement or unnecessary noise so cattle are not unduly stressed. Packing plant technicians then use a mechanical stunning device to quickly and effectively render animals unconscious
  • The beef industry has made great strides in improving food safety matters. E. coli has been dramatically reduced in recent years (80% decrease in four years, 2005) due to several interventions at the packing plant. Some of these include: People (Performing Best Practices), Fundamental Sanitation, Hide-On Wash Cabinet, Pre-Evisceration Acid Rinses, Steam Vacuums, Carcass Washes, Thermal Cabinets (Steam or Hot Water), Post-Evisceration Acid Rinses, and Chilling and Cold Chain Management
  • These are the main divisions (primals) of the beef carcass. There would be two of each of these primals.
  • Very little aging is done “dry” anymore. It was a natural feature of refrigerated rail cars that carried beef throughout the nation. Most aging is done in cryovac sealed bags. Aging can only be done to large cuts (primals and subprimals) it should not be done to steaks and smaller roasts that are purchased at the grocery store.
  • Dry aging is not preferred due to the considerable yield loss and for the space required to do dry aging.
  • Cuts from the rib and loin are mostly support muscles, which makes them naturally tender. They are not overworked. They can be cooked more quickly and at higher heat than those cuts from the chuck and round. Cuts from the chuck and round are well-used muscles used for movement and are more tough and have more connective tissue. The moist, lower heat breaks down the connective tissue and tenderizes the muscle.
  • Any bacteria on steaks or roasts would be on the surface of the beef. In ground beef you would end up incorporating any surface bacteria throughout the meat; this is why ground beef needs to be cooked to 160 degrees and steaks or roasts can be cooked to medium rare doneness
  • Marinades may be cooked or uncooked. Cooked marinades add the most flavor and are recommended when marinating for more than 12 hours. Cooked marinades should be completely cooled before adding to beef. Turn beef occasionally during marinating so that all sides are equally exposed to the marinade. Beef must be marinated at least 6 hours for tenderizing effect to take place. Marinating longer than 24 hours causes the meat fibers on the surface to break down, resulting in a “mushy” texture. For flavor , marinate 15 minutes or as long as 2 hours. If you want to brush on marinade during grilling, reserve some marinade at the beginning. (Never use a marinade that has had raw beef in it to brush on cooked beef) Marinades that have a high sugar content, or contain other ingredients which might burn easily, should be brushed on during the last 20 minutes of grilling. Marinade may also be served as a sauce with the grilled meat. Again, reserve some from the beginning. Left over marinade (that has been used with raw beef) should be discarded. Never reuse a marinade! Do not salt meat before cooking. Meat will lose moisture and become dry.
  • Always buy meat from the store last and get it home as soon as possible. Store in the coldest spot in the refrigerator. You may freeze beef in the container it comes in at the store, but not for longer than two weeks. If storing longer, wrap in freezer paper, freezer bags or aluminum foil and seal well. Beef slowly loses quality the longer it is in the freezer, but should still be safe if the freezer is cold enough. Freezer burn occurs because air has penetrated the seal and only affects quality, not safety.
  • Beef producers have responded to customer’s requests for a leaner beef product.
  • A growth promotant is typically a small pellet that is implanted under the skin on the back of the animal’s ear. The pellet releases tiny amounts of hormone and safely dissolves as the treatment is completed. The use of growth promotants leads to leaner cattle and more efficient use of feed. Typically, cattle raised with growth promotants can have up to 18 percent more lean muscle than other cattle, with an equal decrease in fat.
  • 3 ounces of beef from an implanted steer contains only 1.9 nanograms of estrogen. While, 3 ounces of beef from a non-implanted steer would have 1.3 nanograms. The difference is less than one nanogram (or one-billionth of a gram). Many other foods contain more estrogen, all of which can be consumed safely. Estrogen levels in other foods: Cup of milk: 11 nanograms, Serving of potatoes: 225 nanograms, Serving of green peas: 340 nanograms, An ice cream cone: 520 nanograms, Serving of cabbage: 2000 nanograms, Serving of wheat germ: 3,400 nanograms and A serving of soybean oil: 1,680,000 nanograms.
  • The majority of cattle that go to the packing plant are 24 months old or less.
  • For more detailed information you can go to Cattle that tested positive for BSE never entered the food supply. Another cow was found with BSE in Washington state, however, this animal had been imported from Canada.
  • Although other kinds of beef are available, conventional beef is the type that most of America consumes.
  • If an animal does get sick and requires antibiotics for health, the animal will be given the medicine but may not be qualified to be in the certified organic program.
  • Although grass finished beef does contain more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than conventional beef, it does not contain a significant amount of this fatty acid in comparison to fish and other seafood.
  • Beef Lecture

    1. 1. Beef 101 From Pasture to Plate Courtesy of the Utah Beef Council
    2. 2. Packing Plant <ul><li>Cattle weigh between 1,100 and 1,250 pounds (typically 18 to 22 months old) when they are considered “finished” and sent to be processed </li></ul><ul><li>USDA Public Health Veterinarians examine every single animal before processing. Animals unable to walk or showing signs of any illness are prohibited from the human food supply. </li></ul><ul><li>The slaughter process is based on scientific research to ensure humane animal treatment and the safe production of food </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Humane Slaughter Act dictates strict animal handling and slaughtering standards for packing plants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These facilities are under continuous federal inspection </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>There are multiple interventions in place that decrease and attempt to eliminate potential food safety concerns at packing plants </li></ul><ul><li>USDA inspectors oversee the slaughter process, food safety interventions and carcass grading that take place at packing plants </li></ul>Packing Plant Continued
    4. 4. Meat Inspection <ul><li>Mandatory inspection for all beef sold at retail and foodservice levels </li></ul><ul><li>FSIS and USDA carry out inspection </li></ul>
    5. 5. Meat Grading <ul><li>Beef grading is voluntary and paid for by the processor or packer </li></ul><ul><li>Grading provides an estimate of palatability (tenderness, juiciness & flavor) of the cooked lean meat </li></ul>
    6. 6. Step 1 - Maturity <ul><li>Age is the most important factor in the overall tenderness of beef </li></ul><ul><li>As cattle age: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The amount of connective tissue increases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muscles & tissues becomes tougher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connective tissue will not break down as readily when cooked </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>The visible fat within the muscle is called marbling </li></ul><ul><li>This relates to the flavor and juiciness of cooked beef </li></ul><ul><li>There are ten degrees of marbling that range from abundant to devoid </li></ul>Step 2 - Marbling
    8. 9. Grades of Beef <ul><li>Prime </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abundant Marbling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Young animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not available in grocery store </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><3% of all beef </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Choice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderate marbling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grocery store steak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~50% of all beef </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Select </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesser quality steaks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grass-fed beef </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Standard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not used for steak or roasts </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. Step 3 – Final Grading <ul><li>USDA grader determines if there is acceptable lean color, texture and firmness </li></ul><ul><li>If acceptable, final quality grade is based on maturity level and degree of marbling </li></ul>
    10. 11. Beef Carcass Division
    11. 12. Farmer Brown froze in his tracks; the cows stared wide-eyed back at him. Somewhere, off in the distance, a dog barked.
    12. 13. Beef Aging <ul><li>Occurs through natural enzymatic processes </li></ul><ul><li>Tenderness is enhanced and connective tissue is broken down </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum tenderization occurs after aging for 10-12 days under refrigeration </li></ul><ul><li>Can be done “wet” or “dry” </li></ul>
    13. 14. Beef Aging No Difference Cooking Loss No Difference Less Than 1% Yield Loss 4 to 19% Milder Flavor More Intense Beefy & Meaty Flavor Notes No Difference Juiciness No Difference No Difference Tenderness No Difference WET AGING FACTORS DRY AGING
    14. 15. <ul><li>Cuts from rib and loin are more tender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cook with high, dry heat, and quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cook to medium rare </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cuts from chuck & round are less tender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cook with lower, moist heat and longer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually cooked either to medium-rare doneness for round cuts or to the well-done stage for chuck cuts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tenderizing marinade is recommended </li></ul></ul></ul>Beef Cookery
    15. 16. Cookery Continued <ul><li>Steaks and roasts must be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees F </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May use thermometer or visual inspection to check for doneness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ground beef must be cooked to 160 degrees F </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use instant read thermometer to check the temperature </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Marinades <ul><li>Contain a weak acid to tenderize meat surface by breaking down muscle fiber </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lemon juice, tomatoes, wine, vinegar or yogurt </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only penetrate ¼ inch into meat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less useful for larger cuts of meat and roasts unless using for flavor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Always marinate in the refrigerator </li></ul><ul><li>Use a plastic bag or glass utility dish </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use a metal container because marinades are acidic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow ¼ to ½ cup of marinade for each 1-2 pounds of beef </li></ul>
    17. 19. Beef Nutrition 1940’s Steer Steer Today <ul><li>Beef is leaner than ever before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resulting from genetic changes and feeding/management practices of producers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are 29 beef cuts that qualify as lean </li></ul><ul><ul><li><10g fat, <4.5g sat fat, & <95mg cholesterol </li></ul></ul>
    18. 20. Producer Tools <ul><ul><li>Many cattle are administered a growth promotant to help them build more muscle and produce a leaner beef product for consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pellets the size of small pencil erasers are placed under the skin behind an animal’s ear that releases tiny amounts of hormones and safely dissolve as the treatment is completed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth promotants are approved by FDA after rigorous scientific tests, similar to those required for human medications. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 21. Hormones <ul><li>Exist naturally in virtually all foods from animals and plants </li></ul><ul><li>There is no such thing as “hormone-free” beef </li></ul><ul><li>The human body produces hormones in quantities substantially greater than would ever be consumed by eating beef or any other food </li></ul>
    20. 22. Estrogen Levels in Common Foods
    21. 23. BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) <ul><li>Commonly referred to as “mad cow disease” </li></ul><ul><li>Degenerative neurological disease caused by misfolded proteins (prions) </li></ul><ul><li>Affects cattle older than 30 months of age </li></ul><ul><li>Does not spread from animal to animal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only through feed containing ruminant-derived meat and bone meal (MBM) from BSE-infected cattle (banned in 1997) </li></ul></ul>
    22. 24. BSE Continued <ul><li>BSE agent is not found in meat (like steaks, roasts or ground beef) or milk </li></ul><ul><li>BSE agent is found in central-nervous-system (CNS) tissue of infected animals (such as brain, spinal cord) </li></ul><ul><li>In experimental studies, where large doses of the disease agent are injected into the brains of cattle, the BSE agent has never been found in muscle meat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In naturally infected cattle, exposure to the disease agent is even lower than in the experiments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The USDA mandates removal of all CNS tissue that could potentially carry BSE </li></ul><ul><li>USDA and the FDA are taking all necessary steps to protect consumers, animal health and the food supply </li></ul>
    23. 25. <ul><li>USDA's Enhanced BSE Surveillance Program began June 1, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>787,711 high risk animals have been tested with only two confirmed cases </li></ul><ul><li>This is evidence that the safeguards work and prevalence in the U.S. is extremely low </li></ul><ul><li>Testing 268,500 animals can detect BSE at 1 in 10 million adult cattle at a 99 percent confidence level </li></ul>BSE Surveillance
    24. 26. <ul><li>Majority of beef found in grocery stores </li></ul><ul><li>From cattle raised in pasture most of their lives (12-18 months) </li></ul><ul><li>Finished on grain-based diet for 120-200 days </li></ul>Conventional Beef
    25. 27. <ul><li>Most fresh beef found in meat case is natural </li></ul><ul><li>Refers to beef that is minimally processed and contains no additives (artificial flavors, colors or preservatives) </li></ul><ul><li>Applies to all meat with no ingredient label </li></ul><ul><li>Some use the term “natural” for marketing purposes </li></ul>Natural Beef
    26. 28. <ul><li>Must meet USDA National Organic Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cattle must be fed 100% organic feed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No hormones to promote growth or antibiotics for any reason </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cattle must have access to pasture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practically all cattle meet this standard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beef must be certified through USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) </li></ul></ul>Certified Organic Beef
    27. 29. <ul><li>Comes from cattle that have grazed in pasture their entire lives </li></ul><ul><li>Tends to grade “Select” (minimal marbling) </li></ul><ul><li>Less tender than grain-finished beef </li></ul><ul><li>Flavor panel studies show consumers prefer the overall flavor of grain-finished </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Can contain as much as double the CLA as grain-finished beef </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CLA is a PUFA that is believed to have cancer-fighting properties </li></ul></ul></ul>Grass Finished Beef
    28. 30. <ul><li>“ Breed Specific ” – chooses cattle from a specific breed (i.e. Kobe beef from Wagyu cattle raised in Japan – beer-fed, massaged & brushed with sake or Angus ) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Company Specific ” – criteria in terms of grade, marbling, size, types of feed and/or restrictions on pesticides, antibiotics & hormones </li></ul><ul><li>“ Store Branded ” – branded by grocery stores (Safeway “Rancher’s Reserve” fresh beef) </li></ul>Branded Beef
    29. 31. <ul><li>Utah Beef Council </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beef Nutrition Website </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Cattlemen’s Beef Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>RESOURCES