Effect of vitamin E supplemented cattle on colour and lipid stability during retail processing and display
The benefits of vitamin E supplementation of cattle on appearance and quality of ground beef and steaks in retail display were investigated through the subjective and objective measurement of colour and lipid oxidation. The concept of vitamin E supplementation is not a novel concept within the meat industry. However, processors are unsure of how laboratory findings apply to industry practices. Vitamin E supplemented samples were processed, packaged, stored, and distributed in actual processing conditions. Feeding and cattle rearing was per farmer standards, and variance in sex and breed of samples was present as seen in retail. To evaluate meat performance, steak and ground beef samples were displayed in retail counters, under simulated retail conditions. Tissue [alpha]-tocopherol concentrations were found to be the same (p < .05) pre and post processing indicating that elongated slaughter times, ageing periods and storage were not negative factors in measuring the benefits of supplementation on surface colour performance. The grinding process was found to have an effect on colour performance as ground samples were more colour labile than whole muscle steak counterparts. Initiation of lipid oxidation was also found to occur during grinding. Colour and lipid stability were determined to be a direct effect of processing. Vitamin E supplementation was found to enhance colour and lipid stability throughout retail display for both ground beef and steak samples. However, the benefits were not as pronounced as in previous research. This was determined as a result of industry processing procedures and the conditions of retail display.