Visual Degree of Doneness Has an Impact on Palatability Ratings of Consumers Who Had Differing Degree of Doneness Preferences

Authors : L. L. Prill, L. N. Drey, J. L. Vipham, M. D. Chao, J. M. Gonzalez, T. A. Houser, E. A. Boyle, and T. G. O’Quinn at, Courtesy of K-State Research and Extension


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the impact of feeding con­sumers of varying degree of doneness preferences steaks cooked to multiple degrees of doneness on their perceptions of beef palatability.

Study Description: Paired Low Choice frozen steaks from the posterior half of the strip loin were randomly assigned a degree of doneness of rare (140°F), medium-rare (145°F), medium (160°F), medium-well (165°F), or well-done (170°F). Consumer panelists, prescreened to participate in panels based on their degree of doneness pref­erence, were served steak samples cooked to each of the five degrees of doneness under low-intensity red incandescent lighting to mask any degree of doneness differences among samples. Next, consumers were served steak samples under white incandescent lighting, with white fluorescent background lighting. Pre-screening consumers for degree of doneness preference allowed for a measure of the impact of “missing” the consumer’s ideal degree of doneness and quantification of the impact of both under­cooking and overcooking steaks on consumer beef palatability ratings.

Percentage change in consumer sensory ratings between the red- and white-lighted test­ing to assess the impact of undercooking and overcooking steaks.

abcde Means within the same sensory characteristic without a common superscript differ (< 0.05).

The Bottom Line: When steaks are overcooked, palatability ratings decrease; how­ever, undercooking has a positive effect on palatability perception regardless of the consumer’s degree of doneness preference.

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