Quality: Korean Taste Buds Meat with Australia

AUSTRALIA - A study which used the Meat Standards Australia beef grading scheme to compare the tastes of Korean and Australian beef consumers has found great similarity between the nations, with some subtle differences.
calendar icon 28 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Conducted by Meat & Livestock Australia, the National Livestock Research Institute in Korea and the Beef CRC, the study indicated although there were markedly similar sensory scores given by both consumer groups when asked to assign a grade to the meat samples there was a trend for Korean consumers to be more discriminating than Australian consumers.

The difference between consumer groups was particularly noticeable when testing the poorer quality grilled steaks and BBQ strips.

Korea is one of our biggest export markets and Professor John Thompson from the University of New England said the results have major implications for Australian beef producers.

“Australia currently supplies more than 40 per cent of beef to the Korean market. If we want to increase that figure, we have to maintain the high standard of Australian beef that we currently export.”

Professor Thompson said the study involved more than 1000 consumers from Korea and Australia testing more than 600 samples of beef.

“Samples were taken from both Australian and Korean cattle. The Koreans sampled both Australian and Korean beef, but due to import restrictions Australian consumers only tasted Australian beef,” he said.

Consumers received 7 samples of meat and were asked to score them for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking.

They then graded each sample as either unsatisfactory (2 star), good every day (3 star), better than every day (4 star) or premium (5 star) quality.

“360 Korean consumers were given meat samples prepared as grilled steaks whilst another 360 were given the same meat prepared as a Korean BBQ. For both cooking methods Korean consumers rated a higher proportion of samples as two star or unsatisfactory, compared with Australian consumers,” said Professor Thompson.

“On the other hand, Australian consumers rated more samples as four and five-star quality than Korean consumers.”

Professor Thompson said while Koreans usually eat beef with sauces and marinades, the samples were eaten without any additives.

“Korean consumers may have felt that the beef samples did not cover the range of flavours normally experienced.

Alternatively a Korean’s eating experience is dependent on factors other than tenderness, juiciness and flavour.”

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