Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Devost-Burnett, Derris

Committee Member

Schilling, Wes

Committee Member

Coatney, Kalyn

Committee Member

Lemley, Caleb O.

Committee Member

Patrick, Amanda

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Dinh, Thu

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Campus Access Only 1 Year

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Agricultural Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences


This study examined the effects of wet aging on water-soluble flavor compounds, descriptive flavor, consumer acceptability, and willingness-to-pay of beef strip steaks. Twenty USDA Select boneless beef loins (NAMP #180) were dorsally divided into four equal portions, which were randomized to receive either 0, 7, 14, or 21 d of wet aging. Short-chained peptide concentration increased from 4.11 mg/g on d 0 to 5.12 mg/g on d 7 (P = 0.011) and subsequently increased to 7.14 mg/g on d 21 (P < 0.001). Cooked beef contained 1.85 mg/g less short-chained peptides than raw beef (P < 0.001). Wet aging for 21 d increased the concentrations of amino acids, which are precursors for the Maillard reaction, including methionine, threonine, cystine, serine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine (P < 0.001). Wet aging decreased the nucleotide concentrations (P ≤ 0.003) and increased hypoxanthine concentration, a compound that imparts bitter flavor (P < 0.001). Flavor intensity of steaks was greater on d 14 than on d 21 (P = 0.009). Steaks that were not aged (d 0) had a more intense umami taste than those aged for 7 and 21 d (P ≤ 0.042); whereas d 7 steaks had less off-flavor, described as metallic, oxidized, and cardboard, than steaks from other aging treatments (P ≤ 0.038). Demand analysis indicated that 14-d steaks would be sold at 5.2, 5.2, and 6.7 units (0.454kg/unit) less (P < 0.001) than steaks aged for 0, 7, and 21 d if holding price constant at $14/0.454kg.

Wet aging alters the content of water-soluble flavor compounds in beef, which contributes to flavor development during cooking. Wet aging for 21 d decreased umami taste and flavor intensity. However, amino acid concentrations increased during aging, which contributes to meaty and browning flavors that may be more prevalent in other direct heating methods such as grilling. In addition, results indicated that wet aging for 14 d was not sufficient to provide the flavor and tenderness improvements that were apparent after 21 d of aging since aging beef for 14 d decreased consumer acceptance and demand.


Research funding: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, AFRI project #1024314 and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch project under accession # 1014643.