Effect of Repeated Freeze-Thaw Cycles on Beef Quality and Safety
The objectives of this study were to know the effect of repeated freeze-thaw cycles of beef on the sensory, physicochemical quality and microbiological assessment. The effects of three successive freeze-thaw cycles on beef forelimb were investigated comparing with unfrozen fresh beef for 75 d by keeping at -20±1°C. The freeze-thaw cycles were subjected to three thawing methods and carried out to know the best one. As the number of freeze-thaw cycles increased color and odor declined significantly before cook within the cycles and tenderness, overall acceptability also declined among the cycles after cook by thawing methods. The thawing loss increased and dripping loss decreased significantly (p<0.05). Water holding capacity (WHC) increased (p<0.05) until two cycles and then decreased. Cooking loss increased in cycle 1 and 3, but decreased in cycle 2. pH decreased significantly (p<0.05) among the cycles. Moreover, drip loss, cooking loss and WHC were affected (p<0.05) by thawing methods within the cycles. 2-Thiobarbituric acid (TBARS) value increased (p<0.05) gradually within the cycles and among the cycles by thawing methods. Total viable bacteria, total coliform and total yeast-mould count decreased significantly (p<0.05) within and among the cycles in comparison to the initial count in repeated freeze-thaw cycles. As a result, repeated freeze-thaw cycles affected the sensory, physicochemical and microbiological qua- lity of beef, causing the deterioration of beef quality, but improved the microbiological quality. Although repeated freeze-thaw cycles did not affect much on beef quality and safety but it may be concluded that repeated freeze and thaw should be minimized in terms of beef color for commercial value and WHC and tenderness/juiciness for eating quality.