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Comparison of Marbling Fleck Characteristics and Objective Tenderness Parameters with Different Marbling Coarseness within Longissimus thoracis Muscle of High-marbled Hanwoo Steer
Korean J. Food Sci. An. 2018;38:606-614
Published online June 30, 2018;
© 2018 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources

Boin Lee1,†, Sungho Yoon2,†, Younkyung Lee1, Eunmi Oh1, Yun Kyung Yun2, Byoung Do Kim2, Keigo Kuchida3, Hee Kyung Oh4, Jeehwan Choe5, and Young Min Choi1,*

1Department of Animal Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Sangju 37224, Korea
2Korea Institute for Animal Products Quality Evaluation, Sejong 30100, Korea
3Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro-Shi 080-8555, Japan
4Department of Food and Nutrition, Jangan University, Hwaseong 18331, Korea
5Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
Correspondence to: Young Min Choi
Department of Animal Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Sangju 37224, Korea
Tel: +82-54-530-1232
Fax: +82-54-530-1229
The first two authors have equal contribution.
Received May 17, 2018; Revised May 31, 2018; Accepted June 3, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
It is important to understand how marbling traits and tenderness differ among beef steaks from the carcass grading site and other regions within the longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle, as these characteristics are closely associated with consumer acceptability and willingness to purchase. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the marbling fleck traits and objective tenderness parameters in the groups classified by the coarseness index (CI) of marbling fleck (high and low groups) at the carcass grading site (13th thoracic vertebra; 13T) and three different locations (13T, 9T, and 6T) within the LT muscle from well-marbled (marbling score 7 to 9) Hanwoo steer. Image analysis showed that the longitudinal locations had a significant effect on marbling fleck traits. The total area of large marbling fleck divided by the total marbling area (coarseness) was higher at the central region (13T to 12T) compared to the front thoracic region (6T to 5T) in the high CI group (0.23 vs. 0.17, p<0.05), whereas no significant differences were observed in the total number of marbling fleck within the LT muscle in the high or low CI groups (p>0.05). Location effect on objective tenderness parameters within the LT muscle was somewhat limited, although the high CI group had a lower Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS) value than did the low group (p<0.05). Taken together, the degree of coarseness of marbling fleck decreased from the carcass grading site to the front thoracic site, whereas the objective tenderness parameters, including WBS and hardness, of the grading site did not differ from the other regions within the LT muscle.
Keywords : marbling fleck, coarseness, tenderness parameter, Hanwoo

June 2018, 38 (3)