The most important attributes of beef sensory quality and production variables that can affect it: a review

Diva Santos, Maria João Monteiro, Hans-Peter Voss, Norton Komora, Paula Teixeira, Manuela Pintado*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This work aimed to study and unveil the factors that define the quality of beef from a consumer perspective as well as the production variables affecting it. Price, the designation of origin/brands/certification, appearance/meat colour, presentation, and visible fat are the most valorised factors used by consumers to predict quality. Flavour, tenderness, and juiciness are the most valorised beef quality attributes. It is common worldwide that consumers use price to predict quality and would rather choose meat from its region or country. However, for meat colour, there are countries where consumers generally prefer bright red and others where consumers choose a dark red colour. Regarding marbling, some cultures seek for a high amount of intramuscular fat and countries where health concerned consumers prefer leaner meat. It is consensual worldwide that tender and more juicy meat is largely preferred. The preferences about flavour vary among cultures. Breed, feeding and production system, post-mortem conditions and handling can strongly affect those factors that consumers use to predict quality as well as those quality attributes valorised by the consumers. Pasture-fed animals result in leaner meat with healthier fatty acids profile; however, it can also result in less tender (depending on the muscle) with less juicy meat than an intensively grown one.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104573
Number of pages13
JournalLivestock Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Beef production
  • Beef quality
  • Extensive production
  • Intensive production
  • Semi-intensive production


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