Innovative Research Utilizing the Chuck Muscles

February 2003
Sonja C. Crawford - Hendry County Extension, 4-H Coordinator/Livestock Agent II

The beef industry has experienced a steady decline in demand for its product over the last twenty years. This has resulted in a lowering of value in the uninflated dollars for cuts produced from the carcass, which has exerted profit pressure on all segments of the industry, especially the producer segment of the business.

This decrease in value has not affected all parts of the beef carcass equally. The value of the round, chuck and trimmings have decreased 20%, 23%, and 31%, respectively, in relation to the total carcass value whereas the rib and loin cuts have increased (Cattle Fax, 1998). These three carcass components make up 66 percent of the beef carcass. The marketing potential of the beef chuck and round is thought to be depressed due to much variability in the palatability characteristics of the muscles and composition (Johnson, et al., 1988). Therefore, if muscles from the round and chuck could be better characterized in both palatability, composition and physical attributes, processors might be more willing to remove these muscles intact so that their highest and best use could be fully capitalized upon and maximum value recouped for the industry.

Research has proven ways to produce a value-added product utilizing chuck muscles. Research performed at the University of Florida Meats Laboratory proved that a cold set binding system, Fibrimex®, could be used to increase the profitability of the chuck. Meat restructured with a cold set binding system, such as Fibrimex®, may be sold in the chilled raw state that will possess eating characteristics similar to cuts from intact muscles. Fibrimex® is composed of fibrinogen and thrombin.

Individual chuck muscles from both sides were separated, as well as trimmed of external fat and connective tissue. The identical muscles from each side of the chuck were treated with Fibrimex®, formed into a value-added tenderloin-like product using clear plastic pouches, frozen to extend shelf-life, and cut into ¾" inch fillets. Comparison of the products in at the frozen and cooked state revealed no visible conformation changes due to cooking.

Multifidus dorsi fillets Multifidus dorsi fillets from the chuck produced with Fibrimex®.

cooked Multifidus dorsi fillets Cooked Multifidus dorsi fillets from the chuck produced with Fibrimex®.

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