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THE UNIVERSITY









OF ILLINOIS



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RON CIRCULATING

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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Agricultural Experiment Station



BULLETIN NO. 158



RELATIVE ECONOMY, COMPOSITION AND

NUTRITIVE VALUE OF THE VARIOUS

CUTS OF BEEF



BY L,. D. HALyL, AND A. D. EMMETT




URBANA, ILLINOIS, JULY, 1912



SUMMARY OF BULLETIN No. 158

1. INTRODUCTION. A knowledge of the market products into which beef
cattle are converted is essential both to the producer and to the consumer of
beef. Owing to the increasing cost of meats, there is a growing demand for
accurate information on the subject. Pages 135 to 130

2. OBJECTS. To determine (1) relative proportions of lean, visible fat,
and bone in each of the retail and wholesale cuts of beef; (2) chemical com-
position and nutritive value of edible meat in each wholesale cut; and (3) net
cost of the lean, the total edible meat, and the nutrients in each cut at current
market prices. Page 137

3. ANIMALS USED. No. 1 : Choice grade Hereford steer, age 18 months,
live weight 902 pounds. No. 2 : Choice grade Aberdeen'-Angus steer, age 24
months, live weight 1190 pounds. No. 3: Prime pure-bred Shorthorn steer,
age 29 months, live weight 1,360 pounds. Pages 137 to 139

4. SLAUGHTER TESTS. Weights of dressed beef, hides, fats, and of the
various organs and other parts comprising the offal were recorded and re-
duced to percentage of live weight. Pages 139 to 141

5. WHOLESALE CUTS. The right half of each carcass was divided into the
"straight" wholesale cuts, viz., loin, rib, round, chuck, plate, flank, and fore
shank ; also four minor wholesale cuts, the rump, hind shank, shoulder clod,
and neck. Each cut was weighed and the percentage of carcass weight calcu-
lated. Pages 142 to 144

The amounts and proportions of lean, fat, and bone in each wholesale cut
were determined, and the relative economy of the cuts at wholesale market
prices was computed. Pages 144 to 147

6. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND NUTRITIVE VALUE. The boneless meat of
each wholesale cut was analyzed to determine the proportions of water, pro-
tein, fat (ether extract), organic extractives, mineral matter, and phosphorus.

Pages 148 to Io9

From the chemical composition and the calculated fuel value of the bone-
less meat, the relative nutritive economy of the wholesale cuts at market prices
was determined. Pages 159 to 163

7. RETAIL CUTS. Each wholesale cut was divided into its proper retail
cuts. After weighing, photographing, and trimming such cuts as are ordinarily
trimmed of surplus fat and bone, each retail cut was separated into lean, vis-
ible fat, and bone, and each portion weighed. Pages 163 to 170

Relative economy of the various cuts was computed in terms of the cost
per pound of lean and of total meat in each cut at retail market prices.

Pages 170 to 173

8. CONCLUSIONS. Pages 173 to 177

9. PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE RETAIL CUTS. Pages 177 to 200

10. APPENDIX. Tabulated results of cutting and trimming the wholesal?
and retail cuts, and of the chemical analyses of the wholesale cuts from the
three half carcasses. Pages 200 to 233




BY Iy. D. HAL,!,, ASSISTANT CHIEF IN ANIMAI, HUSBANDRY, AND
A. D. EMMETT, ASSISTANT CHIEF IN ANIMAL NUTRITION

INTRODUCTION

Precise knowledge of the final market products into which
beef cattle are converted is essential both to the producer and to
the consumer of beef. In order to place beef production upon the
most exact and profitable basis, account must be taken not only of
economical methods of breeding and feeding, but also of the qual-
ity of the finished beef product as delivered to the ultimate con-
sumer. The relative efficiency of different types of beef cattle or
of systems of production cannot be accurately compared without
considering the adaptability of the beef to the purpose for which
it is used. The same considerations that prompt manufacturers
of other food articles to study closely the commodities they place
on the market should prompt the meat producer to inform himself
as thoroly as possible regarding his finished product. Notwith-
standing the evident truth of these propositions, no comprehensive
studies have yet been conducted and published which furnish a
basis on which to compare live cattle with the various cuts of beef
derived from their carcasses. Consequently, beef producers have
continued to conduct their operations almost wholly without re-
gard to this important phase of the industry.

Meat-market patrons are more directly, altho no more vitally
concerned with this subject than beef producers, since they deal



'The investigations herein reported relative to the retail cuts of beef were
suggested by Herbert W. Mumford, Chief in Animal Husbandry, and those re-
lating to chemical composition and nutritive value of the wholesale cuts, by
H. S. Grindley, Chief in Animal Chemistry. The work was planned jointly un-
der their general supervision, together with their associates, L. D. Hall and
A. D. Emmett. Messrs. Grindley and Emmett were entirely responsible for the
chemical analysis of the wholesale cuts, and rendered material assistance in
connection with the slaughter tests, physical determinations, and in the com-
pilation of the data on the retail cuts.

135



136 BULLETIN No. 158 [July,

directly with the market and have occasion almost daily to make
use of information concerning- the relative values of the different
retail cuts. Those who would buy meat most intelligently must
know the nature of these cuts, especially with reference to the pro-
portions of lean meat, fat, and bone which they contain and the
food value of meat from different parts of the carcass. A large
majority of meat consumers have no knowledge whatever of
these matters, but make their selections of meat solely according
to habit or fancy. In fact, but little accurate data along this line
have hitherto been available to those who wished to buy meats on
a rational basis. As a result, a few well-known cuts are greatly in
demand, and the remainder of the carcass is a "drug on the
market." To such an extreme has this condition developed that
a portion of the carcass (loins and ribs), forming only about one-
fourth of its weight, represents nearly one-half of its retail cost.
In view of the large place which meat occupies in the American
diet, amounting to nearly one-third of the average expenditure for
all food, the importance of an intelligent understanding of the
subject on the part of the consumer is readily apparent.

Not only are the foregoing statements true of meat producers
and consumers as individuals, but it is highlv essential to the entire
beef-cattle industry, on the one hand, and the economic welfare
of the beef-eating public, on the other, that a more intelligent
understanding of the different cuts of meat be acquired by con-
sumers generally. An increased demand for those portions of
the carcass which are now difficult for the butcher to dispose of
would contribute largely toward a more stable condition of the
trade and thus enable the producer to operate with greater confi-
dence and economy. At the same time it would effect a tremend-
ous saving to the consumer himself by more nearly equalizing the
market values of the various cuts and by enabling the retailer to
operate with a smaller margin of profit. A thoro awakening of
our own people in this matter is no less essential to the future of
beef production in this country than the development of our for-
eign markets, on the one hand, or a more efficient system of cattle
raising, on the other. Thus producer and consumer are in a
large sense inter-dependent with respect to the whole question,
and the dissemination of useful information along this line is
clearly to their mutual advantage. Further, cattle raisers them-
selves constitute an important proportion of the beef-consuming
class; hence they have a two-fold interest in the matter. The
increasing cost of meats, in keeping with prices of other foods,
has stimulated popular interest in the whole subject, and there is
a growing demand for accurate information bearing upon it.



7O/.?] ECONOMY, COMPOSITION AND NUTRITIVE VALUE OF BEEF CUTS 137

OBJECTS AND PLAN OF INVESTIGATION

The principal objects of the investigation reported in this bul-
letin were to determine (i) the relative proportions of lean, visible
fat, and bone in each of the retail and wholesale cuts of beef ; (2)
the chemical composition and nutritive value of the boneless meat
(all lean and fat) of the various wholesale cuts; and (3) the net
cost to the consumer of the lean, the gross meat, and the food
nutrients in each cut at current market prices. Incidentally, data
were obtained relative to the amounts and proportions of the vari-
ous internal organs and other by-products of slaughter yielded by
cattle.

Steers from the University herd were slaughtered at a local
abattoir, the weights of hides, fats, various internal organs, and
other by-products being recorded, as well as those of the different
live animals and their dressed carcasses. After proper refrigeration
in a cold storage room at the abattoir, the right half of each car-
cass was brought to the laboratory and divided into wholesale
cuts ; and these in turn were cut up as in retail markets. Some of
the retail cuts w r ere trimmed free of surplus fat and bone in accord-
ance with meat-market custom, and the lean, fat, and bone of
each cut were then separated as carefully and completely as could
be done by the use of boning knives. A composite sample of all
the boneless meat derived from each wholesale cut was taken for
chemical analysis. Each step in the slaughtering, cutting, and
sampling was performed rapidly in order to minimize loss by
evaporation, and careful precautions were observed to make the
records exact and complete.

ANIMALS USED

These tests were made upon the carcasses of three steers : a
choice grade Hereford, a choice grade Aberdeen- Angus, and a
prime pure-bred Shorthorn.

Steer No. i, the grade Hereford, was one of a carload of
choice calves from the Panhandle of Texas, purchased by the
University in December, 1904, at the International Live Stock
Exposition in Chicago. They were spring calves (April and
May, 1904) and ran with their dams on grass without grain until
November, 1904, when they were shipped to Chicago. About
December 10 they were shipped to the University, where they were
gradually placed on a fattening ration consisting of crushed ear
corn, cottonseed meal, clover, and alfalfa hay, with a small amount
of corn stover, and continued on full grain feed until marketed in
November (1905). Pure corn meal was used during a part of the
feeding period instead of crushed ear corn, and linseed meal was



138



BULLETIN No. 158



[July,



used instead of cottonseed meal part of the time. This steer was
about eighteen months old when slaughtered November 14, 1905.
It was a choice yearling in prime condition but not fancy in quality
nor form, and would have sold at twenty-five to fifty cents per
hundred weight below the top of the beef-cattle market. Thru
an oversight Steer No. i was not photographed.

Steer No. 2, a grade Aberdeen- Angus, was bought as a calf
in the fall of 1904 and was used as a specimen steer for the class
in stock judging. It was fed a ration of three parts corn, one
part oats, one part bran, and one part oil meal together with clover
hay, and was on pasture about five months in the summer of 1905.
When slaughtered (March 20, 1906, age 24 months) it was a
choice beef steer, sufficiently fat but not quite good enough in
quality nor form to grade prime. See Fig. i.




FIG. l. CHOICE ABERDEEN-ANGUS GRADE STEER.

Steer No. 3, the Shorthorn (Fig. 2), was bred and raised at the
University. It was calved in May, 1904; ran on pasture and was
fed milk at the pail during the first summer ; received a light ration
of three parts corn, three parts oats, three parts bran, and one part
oil meal during the winter; ran on pasture during the summer of
1905 ; and was changed to a ration of three parts corn, one part
oats, one part bran, and one part oil meal during the following
winter, which ration, together with clover hay in the winter and



I9I-] ECONOMY, COMPOSITION AND NUTRITIVE VALUE OF BEEF CUTS



139



pasture in the summer, it was fed until slaughtered October 22,
1906, at 29 months. At the time of slaughtering, this steer graded
strictly prime, somewhat over-ripe in condition, but fancy in qual-
ity and form, being the best of the three steers in these respects.
The carcass was cut up October 25, 1906. All the photographs of
retail cuts reproduced in this bulletin (Figs. 13 to 69) were made
from this carcass.




FIG. 2. PRIMS PURE-BRED SHORTHORN STEER.

The reader is cautioned against regarding this experiment as
a comparison of the three breeds of cattle involved. The differences
observed in the carcasses and in the cuts of beef must be attributed
chiefly to differences in age, condition (fatness) and individuality
of the animals. It also should be borne in mind that the results of
this investigation are not in all respects applicable to the medium
and lower grades of beef.

SLAUGHTER TESTS

The cattle were fasted twenty-four hours before slaughtering,
but were given water. The live weight was taken at the abattoir
immediately before slaughtering. Table i shows the weights
recorded in connection with the slaughter test and the percentage
of carcass and of by-products based on the live weight.

Comparatively little shrinkage occurred in cooling the car-
casses, owing to insufficient ventilation and a high degree of mois-



140



BULLETIN No. 158



[July,



TABLE i. RESULTS OF SLAUGHTER TESTS





Steer
No. 1,
pounds


Steer
No. 2,
pounds


Steer
No. 3,

pounds


Steer
No. 1,
percent


Steer
No. 2,
percent


Steer
No. 3,
percent


Live weight


902.0


' 1190.0


1360.0










549.0


739.0


870.0


60.86


62.10


63.97


Dressed beef cold ....


544.5


724.5


870 O 1


60.36


60.88


63.97




4.5


14.5





.50


1.22





Ri'j'ht half cascass


274.3


357.5


430.0


30.41


30.04


31.62


Left half carcass


270.2


367.0


440.0


29.96


30.84


32.35


Hide


67.5


77.5


87.5


7.48


6.51


6.43


Fats
Total


46.5


71.0


64.1


5.15


5.97


4.71


Caul


16.0


29.4


24.5


1.77


2.47


1.80


Intestinal


22.5


31.4


23.5


2.49


2.64


1.73


Pluck


8.0


10.2


16.1


.89


.86


1.18


Tongue


5.1


3.8


6.2


.57


.32


.46


Heart


3.9


4.4


5.5


43


.37


.40




13.0


13.6


14.0


1.44


1.14


1.03


Sweet breads


.6


1.0


.9


.07


.08


.07


Lungs


5.8


5.5


7.0


.64


.46


.51


Trachea (windpipe)


2.5


3.0


1.7


.28


.25


.12


Penis


.5


1.0


.8


.06


.08


.06


Tail


1.6


1.6


1.6


.18


.13


.12


Stomachs
Total, with contents . .
Rumen and reticulum,
empty


86.8
1 18.3


119.5
18.0


134.0,
22.5


9.62
2.03


10.04

1.51


9.85
1.65


Rumen and reticulum
with contents


66.3


98.0


102.5


7.35


8.23


7.53


Omasum and contents
Abomasum, empty ....
Abomasum and con-
tents


10.5
10.0


16.0
4.5

5 5


20.0
10.3

11 5


1.1(5
1.11


1.35
.38

46


1.47
.76

.85


Intestines


33.0


33.4


43.0


3.66


2.81


3.16


Spleen


4.0


1.6


1.9


.44


.13


.14


Gall bladder and contents




1.0


1.7




.08


.12


Head
Total


21.5


27.5


30.0


2.38


2.31


2.21


Bone


12.0


15.0


22.5


1.33


1.26


1.65


Trimmings


9.5


12.5


7.5


1 . 05


1.05


.55


Fore feet
Total


7.3


7.5


9.2


.81


.63


.68


Bone


6.0


6.0


8.0


.67


.50


.59


Trimmings


1.3


1.5


1.2


.14


.13


. .09


Hind feet
Total


7.0


7.5


9.5


.78


.63


.70


Bone


5.5


6.0


7.5


.61


.50


.55


Trimmings


1.5


1.5


2.0


.17


.13


.15


Blood


29.0


35.2


43 5


3.22


2.96


3.20


Loss in dressing


17 4


32.8


27 65


1.93


2.76


2.03

















*No shrinkage, due to humidity of the cooler and fat condition of carcass.



1912] ECONOMV, COMPOSITION AND NUTRITIVE VALUE OF BEEF CUTS 141

ture in the atmosphere of the chillroom, which retarded radiation
of moisture from the beef. Carcasses Nos. I and 2 remained in
cold storage 44 hours after dressing and No. 3, 68 hours at
a temperature of 38 to 40 F. Notwithstanding the longer period
of chilling, carcass No. 3, being extremely fat, showed no shrink-
age ; and the others sustained much less loss than commonly occurs
under normal packing-house conditions.

Referring to the percentage of dressed beef (cold basis), it is
found that Steer No. 3 gave the highest yield and Steer No. I the
lowest. Had the relative weight of undigested food in the stomach
at the time of slaughter been the same as in the case of Steer No.
i, the dressed yield of Steer No. 2 would have been 61.80 per-
cent and that of No. 3, 64.40 percent, thus comparing even more
favorably with Steer No. i than is indicated by the yields based on
actual live weight, as in Table i. The variations in yield were
due, chiefly, to the fatter condition of Steer No. 3 and the thinner
condition of No. i, but they were influenced to some extent by
differences in conformation and quality of the cattle.

The smallest relative weight of internal fat was yielded by
Steer No. 3, and the highest by Steer No. 2. Considering the high
condition of Steer No. 3 and the large percentage of dressed beef
netted by this animal, the small proportion of internal fat is sig-
nificant, indicating a high degree of efficiency for beef production.

Relative weights of the various organs and parts of the three
animals are scarcely comparable, being influenced to an unknown
extent by the differing degrees of condition and "fill" already
mentioned. It will be noticed, however, that the body of Steer
No. i contained the largest relative weight of organs and parts
'that constitute the offal, 1 due in part to lower condition and con-
sequently smaller percentage of carcass to live weight, and doubt-
less, also, to a natural tendency to coarseness of bone, skin, and
general quality. Steer Xo. 2, on the other hand, altho lower in
condition and therefore in carcass yield than No. 3, yielded a
smaller percentage of bone than the latter, as shown by figures
for the head and feet, also a smaller proportion of various internal
organs such as the paunch and intestines, and a similar percentage
of hide; thus indicating that the highest degree of general quality,
as between the three steers, was possessed by No. 2.

'By-products other than the hide and fats.



142



BULLETIN No. 158



[July..



WHOLESALE CUTS

After chilling, the right half of each carcass was taken to the
laboratory for cutting and sampling. Altho cut up on different
dates, the cutting in each instance was done by the same man, an
expert from the packing-house market of Swift and Company,
Chicago, and identical methods of procedure were observed as
nearly as possible with the three carcasses.

The accompanying diagram (Fig. 3) illustrates the wholesale
cuts that were made. In addition to the seven "straight" cuts,
four secondary wholesale cuts were made; viz., the hind shank,
rump, clod, and neck. In the section on retail cuts they are in-
cluded with the respective "straight" cuts to w r hich they belong.



Results of the cutting tests are summarized in the following
table. The weights were taken in terms of pounds and ounces
but are here reduced to decimals for convenience of comparison.

TABLE 2. WEIGHTS AND PERCENTAGES OF THE STRAIGHT WHOLESALE CUTS





Steer
No. 1,
pounds


Steer
No. 2,

pounds-


Steer
No. 3,
pounds


Steer
No. 1,
percent


Steer
No. 2,
percent


Steer
No. 3,
percent


Average
percent


Loin


42.58


63.45


70.46


15.75


17.71


16.60


16.76


Rib


26.53


35 . 78


40.52


9.81


9.99


9.54


9.77


Round


60.15


77.12


92.11


22 25


21.53


21.70


21.78


Chuck


61.86


77.07


91.55


22.88


21.52


21.56


21.89


Plate


40.13


51.95


72.50


14.84


14.50


17.08


15.63


Flank


14.53


19.30


20.37


5.37


5.39


4.80


5.15


Fore shank
Kidney suet ....


13.93
10.65


16.50
17.03


21.96
15.06


5.15
3.94


4.61
4.75


5.17
3.55


4.97
4.06


Entire side


270.36


358.20


424.53


99.99


100.00


100.00


100.00



The proportions of the various cuts as shown above are similar
in the three carcasses. The percentages correspond in general to
average results of other tests on prime steers. Steer No. T ap-
pears to have been relatively lightest in loin and heaviest in round
and chuck; Steer No. 2 shows the largest percentage of loin, rib,
and kidney suet, and the smallest shank ; Steer No. 3 was lowest
in percentage of rib, round, chuck, flank and kidney suet, and
highest in shank and plate. To what extent these differences are
due to unavoidable variations in the cutting of the carcass, it is



ECONOMY, COMPOSITION AND NUTRITIVE VALUE OF BEEF CUTS 143



Off)



LOIN



H/ND QUARTER.



Rump.

Round, R.&5. Off.

Hind shank .
LO/N
TLANK



QUARTER



r"


l\

^\
^J

ft.


R/J9
CHUCK

Chuck, knuckle
Clod.
Neck

'PLATE


ouf.


CHUCK t

(knuckle. o<A) I



WHOLE5AL CUT5 OF -BEEF -

FIG. 3. METHOD OF CUTTING THE THREE SIDES, SHOWING WHOLESALE CUTS.

impossible to say, but probably this factor exercised considerable
influence. For instance, the large percentage of plate in Steer
No. 3, considered in connection with the small percentage of rib
and chuck, indicates that the plate was cut slightly higher on the
side than was the case in the other carcasses. The large percent-
age of round compared with the small percentage of loin in the



144



BULLETIN No. 158



[July,



Hereford suggests that the round probably received a slight ad-
vantage in cutting this carcass. Undoubtedly, however, the carcass
of Steer No. 2 had a larger actual proportion of loin and suet than
the others; while that of Steer No. I was naturally heaviest in the
chuck and lightest in the loin.

The total percentage of loin and rib is generally considered
an important indication of the cutting value of a carcass ; hence
the following comparison will be of interest :

Percent loin and rib

Steer No. 1 25.24

Steer No. 2 27.83

Steer No. 3 26.05

The relative proportions of the fore and hind quarters as ex-
pressed in the following table were calculated from the weights of
wholesale cuts in each quarter.

TABLE 3. WEIGHTS AND PERCENTAGES OF THE FORE AND HIND QUARTERS





Steer
No. 1,
pounds

142.45
127.91

270.36


Steer
No. 2,
pounds

181.30
176.42


Steer
No. 3,
pound?


Steer
No. 1,
percent


Steer
No. 2,
percent

50.68
49.32

100.00


Steer
No. 3,
percent

53.36
46.64


Average
percent


Fore quarter . . .
Hind quarter. . . .


226.53
198.03

424.56


52.69
47.31

100.00


52.21
47.79


Entire side ....


357.72


100.00


100.00



EDIBLE MEAT AND WASTE

The straight cuts may now be compared with reference to the
relative proportions of lean, visible fat, and bone which they con-
tain. For the sake of convenience and brevity, the discussions
relative to the food values and waste of the various wholesale and
retail cuts will be confined to the average results obtained from
the three carcasses and will be stated in percentages. The com-
plete data on which the averages are based will be found in the
appendix. The following table is based upon the sum of the data
derived from the various retail cuts into which each wholesale cut
was divided.

This summary shows that the three sides used in this test
averaged about 57 percent lean meat, 30 percent visible fat, and
12 percent bone. The proportion of lean in the various cuts (ex-
cept the kidney) varied from about one-third in the flank to about
two-thirds in the chuck; the extreme percentages of visible fat
were 1 1 percent in the fore-shank and 63 percent in the flank ; and
the percentage of bone ranged from practically nothing, in the



ECONOMY, COMPOSITION AND NUTRITIVE VALUE OF BEEF CUTS



145



TABLE 4. PERCENTAGES OF LEAN, VISIBLE FAT, AND BONE IN THE STRAIGHT

WHOLESALE CUTS



Straight wholesale cuts


Lean


Fat


Bone


Total


Loin


58.53


31.75


8.89


99.17


Rib


55 21


1 3 4 5 6 7

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