Warner-Bratzler Shear Force Test Proves Tenderness of Certified Piedmontese Beef
For many consumers, the measure of tenderness in beef is the presence of fat (marbling) in the meat. In fact, the USDA beef grading scale depends largely on measuring not actual tenderness, but the presence of marbling. But beef tenderness is a complex trait that comes from multiple factors, of which marbling is only one.
There are objective ways to measure the actual tenderness of a cut of beef. The most widely-used is the the Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF) test. The WBSF doesn't simply guess at tenderness based on how much fat is present--it actually measures the physical force required to cut through a piece of beef.
The WBSF test has been around for over 80 years. K.F. Warner, a USDA research scientist, came up with the original design for a device to measure tenderness in 1928, and a few years later, a Kansas State University graduate student named L.J. Bratzler standardized both the equipment and the way it was used.
Shear force values represent the amount of force required to drive a steel blade through a 1/2-inch core of meat. A more tender piece of meat requires less force, while a tougher piece requires more.
So when subjected to the WBSF test, just how tender is Certified Piedmontese? USDA studies report that, while Piedmontese cattle have the least amount of fat, they're beef is nonetheless the most tender. For example, University of Nebraska-Lincoln data indicates traditional New York strip samples require a shear force of 5.2 kilograms, while Certified Piedmontese New York strip samples require only 2.84 kilograms of force. Thus, the Certified PIedmontese sample was almost twice as tender as traditional beef.
But of course, the ultimate test of tenderness and taste is yours. When you try Certified Piedmontese, you'll see for yourself that lean beef can be tender, juicy, and delicious.