For more than 140 years, Americans have sought to document and improve the flavor of beef through innovation and research. This new white paper, Beef Flavor: A review from chemistry to consumer, provides a review of the literature describing the more recent efforts in this arena.

The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

White Paper Excerpt:

Flavor is an important component of beef taste to consumers and, in the late 1800s, documented efforts first appeared to formally improve beef flavor in a controlled manner (Chemioux, 1874). So, for more than 140 years Americans have sought to document and improve the flavor of beef with patented discoveries and research (Chemioux, 1874; Filbert, 1909; and Howe and Barbella, 1937).

In fact, Howe and Barbella (1937) noted that very little evidence existed as to the chemical characteristics of meat flavor. They surmised it was likely a composite of salts, acids and a group of products resulting from heating, and it most likely involved the disintegration products of proteins and lipids. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the most recent literature and knowledge of beef flavor.

A linear story exists in the explanation of the generation of aroma compounds, the methods in which they are generated and the relevance to today’s consumer. After all, beef has a unique flavor among muscle foods making it distinctively popular with consumers.

Discover more about the white paper.