1200 steaks tested at Highland Show as part of SRUC’s search for the perfect steak

Over 1200 steaks were tasted twice at the Dunbia, SRUC and Breeders research trailer at the Royal Highland Show.

The project took a very scientific look at what factors make up the best steak-eating experience. In this mobile sensory lab, there are 12 environmentally controlled tasting stations, where the public had the opportunity to taste and rate steaks, of various breeds and production systems, which had all been cooked identically. .

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The information that came back will now be cross-checked with the history of the animal that produced the steak as well as slaughterhouse test results such as tenderness scores and spectral images. The idea is to collect enough consumer data to be able to analyze which breeds and production systems produce the tastiest beef and use the results to influence future beef farming and production systems.

At the show, Professor Mike Coffey said: ‘Each person will be given three steak samples and we won’t tell them anything about them. The steaks come from six different breeds and a mix of breeding systems. All of this data is being collated and the results should not be far off as the project wraps up later this year. What we’re trying to figure out is what makes for an efficient lifespan for an animal and a tastier output at the end.

Dino S. Williams