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Dry Aging, understanding the implications of aging on different USDA quality grade beef short loins.
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The research presented investigates the effects of dry aging compared to wet aging on beef quality of different USDA grades on strip loin and tenderloins aged for different lengths of time. The first chapter demonstrated how dry and wet aging USDA Choice and Prime short loins for 21 and 42 days significantly impact quality. USDA Prime had the largest impact on quality affecting objective and subjective tenderness of strip loins (P=0.023, and P<0.001, respectively). For tenderloins, USDA Prime affected tenderness, juiciness, and had notes of fishy flavoring (P=0.080, P=0.003, and P=0.016, Respectively). Dry aged only affected the amount of lipid oxidation for tenderloins (P=0.005). Dry aging did impact on some of the volatile compound’s present, but they did not significantly impact on the overall quality. There were interactions between the aging method, aging length, and quality grade. However, the effects of the aging method were minimal compared to quality grade. Thus, USDA grade has a greater impact on overall beef quality, not dry aging. The second chapter examines the effects of dry aging USDA select for an extended period to determine if the meat quality improves. Dry aging had a minimal impact on specific volatile compounds but did not affect specific quality attributes. Extended aging, however, did significantly impact meat quality. Extended aging to 80 days negatively impacted overall desirability and off-flavor intensity (P=0.002, and P<0.001, respectively). This study shows that dry aging does not improve the quality of lower USDA grades and that extended aging negatively affects quality.