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Steak Location Within the Semitendinosus Muscle Impacts Metmyoglobin Accumulation on Steaks During Retail Display

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine effects of steak location on muscle fiber type distribution and metmyoglobin accumulation of Semitendinosus (eye of round) steaks.

Study Description: Semitendinosus muscles (n = 20; Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications 171C) purchased from a commercial abattoir were wet aged in a vacuum bag for 22 days at 35°F. Progressing from the proximal to distal end, each Semitendinosus was fabricated into twelve 1-in thick steaks. Steaks 1-4 were desig­nated proximal, 5-8 were designated middle, and 9-12 were designated distal. Steaks were displayed under simulated retail display conditions with fluorescent lighting and subjected to daily objective and steak surface discoloration analyses and were also analyzed for muscle fiber type.

The Bottom Line: Steaks fabricated from middle of the eye of round discolor at a faster rate than steaks from the proximal or distal locations. Retailers may want to display steaks from this location during times the case is turning over more quickly.

View full research report by authors K.J. Phelps, T.G. O’Quinn, T.A. Houser, and J.M. Gonzalez at


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