Big Thicket Messenger - Local News
Stories Added - July 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Checkoff research adds value to beef
Big Thicket Messenger - July 2008

Providing beef products that are versatile and economical and enhancing beef cuts are part of the initiatives that drive checkoff-funded research for the industry. The Beef Checkoff Program’s latest research includes new cuts from the chuck roll and a study on beef tenderness.
The Texas Beef Council (TBC) incorporates national industry-leading beef research into all program areas utilizing the information to educate consumers and beef producers. Beef product research has resulted in a new line of Beef Value Cuts scheduled for release in 2008, according to the checkoff-funded Beef Innovations Group (BIG). The new line of value cuts are fabricated from the beef chuck roll, which currently retail as chuck roasts and chuck steaks.
“The new wave of beef value cuts gives TBC an opportunity to market fresh new ideas and concepts to major retail and foodservice outlets,” said Russell Woodward, TBC senior product manager. “Our goal is adding value to our product by offering consumers new choices at affordable prices.”
These new cuts are part of the value cuts program that began in the late 1990s with the checkoff’s groundbreaking muscle profiling research. The first wave of value cuts included the Flat Iron and Petite Tender, which Cattle-Fax estimate has added $50 to $60 a head to the value of the chuck.
BIG, a team of culinary professionals, food scientists, marketing, operations and research experts, expects four new cuts from the chuck roll to debut in foodservice and retail channels in 2008. The new cuts include tender steaks for grilling, an affordable roast for dry roasting, boneless country-style ribs and a fully cooked roast.
Among other innovative research projects is the study of tenderness, a complex trait influenced by a variety of factors, many of which can be managed to reduce the incidence of tenderness problems in the final product. According to a new checkoff-funded report, one inherent tenderness variation often times overlooked in pre-harvest management plans in sex classification.
Heifers typically outperform steers in marbling and USDA quality grade, but product tenderness usually favors steers, according to Pre-Harvest Factors Affecting Beef Tenderness in Heifers, a beef checkoff-funded report by Colorado State University scientists J.D. Tatum, Ph.D., S.L. Gruber and B.A. Schneider.
“This type of research helps us better understand our product and integrate that information into our beef quality assurance programs,” said Jason Bagley, TBC beef quality manager. “It’s imperative that TBC relays this research and information to the producers in efforts to promote good management practices that will improve their bottom lines as well as strengthen consumer confidence and build beef demand.”
In the tenderness research, authors reviewed 10 studies conducted between 1985 and 2006 and compared Warner-Bratzler sheer force (WBSF) values on the major muscle in the rib and loin for both heifers and steers. In eight of the 10 comparisons, the WBSF was significantly higher for heifers than steers. The lower the WBSF value, the more tender the beef.
For more information on these and other checkoff programs, please visit www.texasbeef.org or call (800) 846-4113.




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