Research: Fatty acid and oxidation in beef affected by ageing, cooking methods

A low-fat meat and a short cooking time are the best combination to guarantee the nutritional quality.
calendar icon 25 May 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

This study aimed to determine how ageing and cooking, each one applied to the beef meat most suitable (panfried or grilled ribeye steak, braised chuck and fried or roasted rump steak), induce changes in lipid content, fatty acid (FA) composition and lipid oxidation of muscles from 16 cattle representative of animals raised for French meat production.

The fattiest muscle (ribeye) was the richest in saturated and monounsaturated FA leading to poor nutritional indexes. In contrast, the leanest muscle (rump) had the highest proportion of polyunsaturated FA and the highest levels of peroxidation without exceeding critical limits.

Study highlights:

  • The lipid content of raw beef meats induced major differences in their FA composition.
  • Fatty muscles accumulated SFA and MUFA with poor nutritional indexes.
  • Lean muscles had high levels of PUFA but peroxidation levels below the limits.
  • The cooking methods induced a moisture loss increasing meat fat content.
  • Culinary fat addition marked the meat by its fatty acid composition.

The impact of cooking methods seemed mainly linked to the moisture loss increasing meat fat content and the culinary fat addition whose FA composition marked the meat. Cooking methods induced oxidation phenomena that could exceed the limit thresholds.

In conclusion, short cooking time of rump steak was the best combination to meet nutritional expectations.

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