Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Marjorie P. Penfield

Committee Members

Frances A. Draughon, Roy E. Beauchene, Nina R. Marable


Top rounds from steers fed grain 0, 28, 56, or 84 days were removed and flaked in a Urschel Comitrol containing a plate with 1.9-cm openings. Fat (beef plates approximately 55% fat) from animals fed grain was finely ground. Flaked meat and fat were mixed and formed into 227-g restructured steaks with 15%, 20%, or 25% fat. Steaks were cooked in a microwave oven on a preheated browning dish or broiled in a conventional oven to an internal temperature of 73oC ± 2oC or 73oC, respectively.

Greater cooking losses were exhibited for steaks heated in a microwave oven than were found with conventional heating. Objective measurements of tenderness indicated conventionally heated steaks were more tender than microwave-heated steaks. As the level of fat increased, tenderness, as determined by objective methods, generally increased. Generally, as the number of days an animal was on grain increased, Warner-Bratzler shear values decreased. Total microbial destruction was exhibited by both cooking methods.

A 10-member experienced panel evaluated the steaks for various characteristics using an unstructured, 150-mm descriptive scale. Steaks cooked in the microwave oven were less tender, had less moisture released, and appeared to be more well-done than steaks broiled in the conventional oven. As fat level increased in the steaks, tenderness, moisture released, greasiness, and acceptability also increased while off-flavor of the steaks decreased. Cooking method, fat level, or number of days on feed did not affect acceptability as judged by a 36-member consumer panel. It appeared that the use of fat from grain-fed animals minimized tenderness, juiciness, and off-flavor problems reported to be associated with meat from grass-fed animals. This study indicated that it would be feasible to utilize meat from grass-fed animals in the formation of restructured steaks. An increase in fat level was shown to positively affect the characteristics of the steaks.

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