No beefs with irradiation

Irradiated beef is not likely to affect sensory qualities such as color, flavor and texture, according to a new study conducted by the Kansas State University department of animal sciences and funded by the Beef Promotion and Research Board.

The study, presumably conducted to help sway resistant consumers in favor of the technology, found that low doses of nonradioactive irradiation had no consistent, measurable effect on flavor, aroma, color and shelf life of beef products. Bacterial counts were lower in irradiated samples. Both aerobic and vacuum packaging, however, did negatively affect color, flavor and texture of the beef tested. Tests were done using raw and precooked ground beef patties and chilled and frozen boneless beef steaks. Cooking loss, purge percentage and pH also were influenced more by package type and fat level than by irradiation.

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