Consumer Acceptability of Intramuscular Fat

  • Frank, Damian (CSIRO, Agriculture & Food) ;
  • Joo, Seon-Tea (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21+), Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Warner, Robyn (Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne)
  • Received : 2016.09.14
  • Accepted : 2016.10.17
  • Published : 2016.12.31


Fat in meat greatly improves eating quality, yet many consumers avoid visible fat, mainly because of health concerns. Generations of consumers, especially in the English-speaking world, have been convinced by health authorities that animal fat, particularly saturated or solid fat, should be reduced or avoided to maintain a healthy diet. Decades of negative messages regarding animal fats has resulted in general avoidance of fatty cuts of meat. Paradoxically, low fat or lean meat tends to have poor eating quality and flavor and low consumer acceptability. The failure of low-fat high-carbohydrate diets to curb "globesity" has prompted many experts to re-evaluate of the place of fat in human diets, including animal fat. Attitudes towards fat vary dramatically between and within cultures. Previous generations of humans sought out fatty cuts of meat for their superior sensory properties. Many consumers in East and Southeast Asia have traditionally valued more fatty meat cuts. As nutritional messages around dietary fat change, there is evidence that attitudes towards animal fat are changing and many consumers are rediscovering and embracing fattier cuts of meat, including marbled beef. The present work provides a short overview of the unique sensory characteristics of marbled beef and changing consumer preferences for fat in meat in general.


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