Understanding Effects of Carcass Maturity

Recently published checkoff-funded research identified the effects of USDA maturity classification on beef tenderness, juiciness and flavor when applied to carcasses of steers and heifers (n=600) in both dental age groups: less than 30 months and 30 months or older. Results of this study, together with results reported by Acheson et al. (2014), show that advanced carcass maturity characteristics, occurring prematurely among fed steers and heifers with dental ages less than 30 months, have no detrimental effects on sensory characteristics. The upshot is that discounting prices of carcasses produced by cattle less than 30 months of age based on advanced USDA carcass maturity might not be justified. See the full text of the research at Carcass Maturity.

Understanding Beef Flavor

A new checkoff white paper, “Elucidation of Beef Flavor Character from Flavor Precursor Compounds,” is responsive to the fact that flavor is an important component of beef palatability that can be defined as the combination of taste and aroma. Development of positive beef flavor is a result of cooking. This white paper examines the role of the precursor compounds of beef flavor (fatty acids, amino acids, reducing sugars, nucleotides, etc.) in determining the character of beef flavor and how the composition of flavor-precursor compounds is affected by quality grade and the beef cattle production system.

For additional information, check out these sites:

Consumers looking for nutrition and dietary information about beef can go to to order or download materials and research information, or find a schedule of nutrition events and seminars.
Consumers, producers and other industry professionals can go to for summaries of checkoff-funded research in the areas of beef safety, human nutrition, product enhancement and market research, projects which provide the foundation for checkoff programs in promotion, marketing, education, information and foreign marketing.
Safety is a priority of the beef industry and,  houses information about the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo), its discussions and meetings, an application to join the council, and consumer information about beef safety.
Finding new convenient cuts is one very successful way the checkoff has helped add value to the beef carcass over the years. In cooperation with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is the industry’s primary beef cut resource.
Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program information is available at where you can find systematic information about coupling proper animal-husbandry techniques with accepted scientific knowledge to improve the quality of the end beef products.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a misunderstood but potentially serious animal disease. For the most accurate information, turn to, an informational site housing current information regarding for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.
While never occurring in the United States, is an informational site housing current information regarding foot-and-mouth disease for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.


Research - Archive