A national survey of beef tenderness in France

Tenderness is an important factor of beef quality. It is often considered disappointing and irregular by consumers, but so far, no French study has given the means to obtain a concrete vision of the tenderness as it is actually detected through consumption of the product. This was precisely the objective of this work. Four muscles (sirloin, rump, knuckle and outside flat) and four industrial products (marinated meat, vacuum meat, thin meat for grill and skewer) were collected in various marketing channels to be as representative as possible of the purchases of the French people. A panel of 1440 consumers then tasted them. The results show that consumers were satisfied with the tenderness of the marinated meat, vacuum meat, sirloin and rump. Respectively, 87, 69, 72 and 62% of consumers considered them "good", "very good" or "excellent" in terms of tenderness. The results were more mixed for skewers and knuckle (49 and 57% considered them "good", "very good" or "excellent") and disappointing for the outside flat and thin meat for grill (32 and 31% considered them "good", " very good "or" excellent "). Moreover, no clear relationship was found between the selling price of the product and its tenderness.