Shear force (SF) is a routine measure used in meat research to define tenderness, but the procedures are not standard. As a result, many studies have failed to include SF block weight and status (frozen or thawed) prior to cooking in their methods sections—potentially due to the unknown extent to which they contribute to SF and cooking loss (CL) variation. Consequently, we investigated the effects of SF block status (frozen or thawed) and weight prior to cooking (pre-cook wt) on SF and CL determination of beef. A split-plot experimental design was applied to 80 SF blocks removed from several beef Musculus longissimus lumborum to represent a range of weights (33.8–120.5 g) balanced by status. These were then cooked using a water bath, and assessed for SF and CL. It was found that pre-cook wt acted as a source of variation for SF and CL measurement (P < 0.001), and status influenced only CL (P < 0.01). From these, we can conclude that future beef SF studies and procedural guidelines must include descriptors for these parameters in their respective methods section to ensure reproducibility and correct contextual interpretation.
Holman, B. W. B., Van de Ven, R. J., Coombs, C. E. O., & Hopkins, D. L. (2017). Effect of beef pre-cooking status (Frozen V. Thawed) and sample weight on shear force evaluation. Food Analytical Methods, 10(10), 3235-3238. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12161-017-0895-1