Determination of a pH threshold for dark cutting beef based on visual evaluation by Asian consumers

Yining Zhang, Benjamin Holman, Yanwei Mao, Xue Chen, Xin Luo, David Hopkins, Yimin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study defined the pH threshold for dark cutting beef of Asian consumers using a web-based survey and examined their preferences for beef appearance. Ninety individual images of beef steaks with different pH values were randomly selected to be scored by 4322 respondents. Gender, age and beef eating habits of respondents were found to impact on color preferences. With respondent's visual score of 4 set as the acceptance threshold, linear regression analysis between visual scores and beef instrumental colorimetrics, showed that the acceptance thresholds of instrumental color values were L* ≥ 31.4, a* ≥ 16.4, b* ≥ 6.5, chroma ≥17.4 and hue ≥22.5. These corresponded to pH threshold values of 6.11, 6.20, 6.28, 6.25 and 6.29, respectively. This pH benchmark (6.11 to 6.29) for dark cutters is higher than pH thresholds applied in most countries, indicating that Asian consumers prefer darker meat than expected, however, the likely tenderness of beef with pH's at this level merits consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108347
Number of pages6
JournalMeat Science
Early online date14 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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