European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 241, Issue 2, pp 157–171 | Cite as

Influence of specific taste-active components on meat flavor as affected by intrinsic and extrinsic factors: an overview

  • Dashmaa Dashdorj
  • Touseef Amna
  • Inho HwangEmail author
Review Paper


Beef flavor is considered as the most important factor of eating quality and overall acceptability of consumers. Previous studies on beef flavor have demonstrated the role of numerous volatile compounds in meat aroma. However, the contribution of water-soluble compounds such as peptides, amino acids, reducing sugars, nucleotides, acids, and vitamins to the cooked beef taste is not fully known. The present review has mainly focused on the factors associated with flavor of beef and contribution of aforementioned constituents to the flavor. A number of studies have documented that intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as diet/feeding regimes, breed and sex of animal, aging condition, and pH of meat significantly influence the meat flavor. These aforementioned factors differently affect the concentration and level of taste-active compounds and taste contents. Also, it has been established that the amount and proportion of these compounds were affected by the genetic differences among individual meat cuts and the outcome of glycolysis, proteolysis, and lipolysis processes. Conclusively, this review provides insight into the previous significant literature reports on flavor and identifies important factors that are associated with flavor precursors of proteolysis and glycolysis with the viewpoint of palatability of beef meat.


Beef Flavor Water-soluble compounds Intrinsic Extrinsic factors 



this work was supported by a grant from the Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (PJ 010170), and the next generation Biogreen 21(PJ011101).This research was partly supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (Project No. 2014R1A1A2007175).

Conflict of interest


Compliance with Ethics Requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


  1. 1.
    Meinert L, Andersen T, Bredie WLP, Bjergaard C, Aaslyng MD (2007) Chemical and sensory characterization of pan-fried pork flavor: interactions between raw meat quality, aging and frying temperature. Meat Sci 75:229–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Farmer LJ (1999) The role of nutrients in meat flavor formation. Proc Nutr Soc 53:327–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Farmer LJ, Mottram DS (1994) Lipid–Maillard interactions in the formation of volatile aroma compounds. In: Maarse H, van der Heij DG (eds) Trends in flavor research. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 313–326Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mottram DS (1998) Flavor formation in meat and meat products. Food Chem 62:415–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shahidi F (1994) Flavor of muscle foods; an overview. Blackie, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mateo J, Domeguez M, Aguirrezabal MM, Zumalacarregui JM (1996) Taste compound in Chorizo and their changes during ripening. Meat Sci 44:245–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Koutsidis G, Elmore JS, Oruna-Concha MJ, Campo MM, Wood JD, Mottram DS (2007) Water soluble of beef flavor. Part II: effect of post-mortem conditioning. Meat Sci 79:270–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Clayes E, Smet SD, Balcaen A, Raes K, Demeyer D (2004) Quantification of fresh meat peptides by SDS–PAGE in relation to aging time and taste intensity. Meat Sci 67:281–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Elmore JS, Mottram DS, Enser M, Wood JD (1999) Effect of the polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of beef muscle on the profile of aroma volatiles. Agric Food Chem 47:1619–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Koutsidis G, Elmore JS, Oruna-Concha MJ, Campo MM, Wood JD, Mottram DS (2007) Water soluble precursors of beef flavor: 1. Effect of diet and breed. Meat Sci 79:124–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Maruri JL, Larick DK (1992) Volatile concentration and flavor of beef as influenced by diet. Food Sci 576:1275–1281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Melton SL, Black JM, Davis GW, Backus WR (1982) Flavor and selected chemical components of ground beef from steer’s background on pasture and fed corn up to 140 days. Food Sci 47:699–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gorriaz C, Beriain MJ, Chasco J, Insausti K (2002) Effect of aging time on volatile compounds, odor, and flavor of cooked beef from pirenaica and Friesian bulls and heifers. J Food Sci 67:916–922CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nishimura T, Rhue MR, Okitani A, Kato H (1988) Components contributing to the improvement of meat taste during storage. Agric Biol Chem 52:2323–2330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jeremiah LE, Gibson LL (2003) The effects of postmortem product handling and aging time on beef palatability. Food Res Int 36:929–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mottram DS (1985) The effects of cooking conditions on the formation of volatile heterocyclic compounds in pork. J Sci Food Agric 36:377–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Erdmann K, Cheung BWY, Schroder H (2008) The possible roles of food-derived bioactive peptides in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. J Nutr Biochem 19:643–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Buachart TC, Remond D, Chambon C, Patureau MP, Savary-Auzelouz I, Reyne C, Morzel M (2006) Small peptides (< 5 kDa) found in ready-to-eat beef meat. Meat Sci 74:658–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Purchas RW, Rutherfurda SM, Pearcea PD, Vathera R, Wilkinson BHP (2004) Concentrations in beef and lamb of taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10, and creatine. Meat Sci 66:629–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Moya VJ, Flores M, Aristoy MC, Toldra F (2001) Pork meat quality affects peptides and amino acid profiles during the aging process. Meat Sci 58:197–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sylvestre MN, Feidth C, Brun-Bellut J (2001) Post mortem evolution of non protein nitrogen and its peptide composition in growing lamb muscles. Meat Sci 58:363–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ogasawara M, Katsumata T, Egi M (2006) Taste properties of Maillard reaction products prepared from 1000 to 5000 Da peptide. Food Chem 99:600–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ishii K, Tsuchida M, Hishimura T, Okitani A, Nakagawa A, Natae K, Shimada A (1995) Changes in the taste and taste components of beef during heating at a low temperature for a long time. J Home Econ Jpn 46:229–234Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Okumura T, Yamada R, Nishimura T (2004) Sourness suppressing peptides in cooked pork loins. Biosci Boitech Biochem 68:1657–1662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Henriksen AP, Stahnke LH (1997) Sensory and chromatographic evaluations of water soluble fractions from dried sausages. J Agric Food Chem 45:7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Yamasaki Y, Maekawa K (1978) A peptide with delicious taste. Agric Biol Chem 42:1761–1765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Spanier AM, Flores M, Mc Millin KM, Bidner TD (1997) The effect of post mortem aging on meat flavor quality in Brangus beef. Correlation of treatment, sensory, instrument and chemical descriptors. Food Chem 59:531–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nollet LML, Toldra F (2006) Advanced technologies for meat processingGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Maehashi K, Arai S (1999) Taste evolution for peptides in protein hydrolysates from soybean and other plants. In: Jackson JF, Linskens HF (eds) Analysis of taste and aromaGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Noguchi M, Arai S, Yamashita M, Kato H, Fujimaki M (1975) Isolation and identification of acidic oligopeptides occurring in a flavor potentiating fraction from a fish protein hydrolysate. J Agric Food Chem 23:49–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pereira-Lima Ordones JA, Carcia De Fernando GD, Cambero MI (2000) Influence of heat treatment on carnosine, anserine and free amino acid composition of beef broth and its role in flavor development. European Food Research and Technology. ISSN:1438-2377,210:165-172Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Macleod G (1986) The scientific and technological basis of meat flavors. In: Birch GG, Lindley MG (eds) Developments in food flavors. Elsevier, London, pp 191–223Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Liu Y, Xu X, Zhou G (2007) Changes in taste compounds of duck during processing. Food Chem 102:22–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Chen Y, Ho T (2002) Effects of carnosine on volatile generation from Maillard reaction of ribose and cysteine. J Agric Food Chem 50:2372–2376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Gianelli M, Flores M, Toldra F (2003) Interactions of soluble peptides and proteins from skeletal muscle on the release of volatile compounds. J Agric Food Chem 51:6828–6834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ishibashi N, Sadamori K, Yamamota KH, Kouge K, Kikuchi E, Okai H, Fukuli S (1987) Bitterness of phenylalanine- and tyrosine-containing peptides. Agric Biol Chem 51:3309–3313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kuroda M, Harada T (2004) Fractionation and characterization of the macromolecular meaty flavor enhancer from beef meat extract. J Food Sci 69:542–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Mottram DS (1994) Some aspects of the chemistry of meat flavor. In: Shahidi F (ed) the flavor of meat and meat products. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 210–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ba HV, Hwang IH, Dawoon J, Amna T (2012) Principle of meat aroma flavors and future prospect. Chapter 7, in Latest research into quality control. In techGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Kato H, Nishimura T (1987) Taste component and conditioning of beef, pork, and chicken. In: Kawamura Y, Kare MR (eds) “umami”: One of the basic tastes. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Koga K, Fukunaga T, Kawagoe S (1987) Free amino acids, carnosine and 5-inosinic acid contents in the beef loin and beef round. Mem Fac Agric Kagoshima Univ 23:121–129Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cerny C, Grosch W (1992) Evaluation of potent odorants in roasted beef by aroma extracts dilution analysis. Zeitschrift für Lebensittelunter-suchung and Forschung A 194:322–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kayim M, Cimen M, Can E, Kosabas M (2011) Biochemical taste parameters in meat and sea products. Asian J Anim Vet Advances 6:233–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Chen D, Zhang M (2007) Non volatile taste active compounds in the meat of Chinese mitten crab. Food Chem 104:1200–1205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Kuninaka A (1981) Taste and flavor enhancers. In: Teranishi R et al (eds) Flavor research—recent advances. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 305–353Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Tikk M, Tikk K, Torngren MA, Meinert L, Aaslyng M, Karlson H, Andersen HJ (2006) Development of inosine monophosphate and its degradation products during aging of pork of different qualities in relation to basic taste and retro nasal flavor perception of the meat. J Agric Food Chem 54:7769–7777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Yamaguchi S, Yoshikawa T, Ikeda S, Ninomiya T (1971) Measurement of the relative taste intensity of some α-amino acid and 5′-nucleotides. J Food Sci 36:846–849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Aristoy MC, Toldra F (2009) Nucleotides and Its derived compounds. In: Nollet LML, Toldra F, Aristoy MC (eds) Handbook of muscle foods analysisGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Ishiwatari N, Fukuoka M, Sato HN, Sakai N (2013) Decomposition kinetics of umami component during meat cooking. J Food Eng 119:324–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Flores M, Armero E, Aristoy M, Toldra F (1999) Sensory characteristic of cooked pork loin affected by nucleotide content and post mortem meat quality. Meat Sci 51:53–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Aliani M, Farmer LJ, Kennedy JT, Moss BW, Gordon A (2013) Post-slaughter changes in ATP metabolites, reducing and phosphorylated sugars in chicken meat. Meat Sci 94:55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Farmer LJ, Mottram DS (1992) Effect of cysteine and ribose on the volatile thermal degradation products of a triglyceride and three phospholipids. J Sci Food Agric 60:489–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Meinert L, Schafer A, Bjergaard C, Aaslyng MD, Bredie WLP (2009) Comparison of glucose, glucose 6-phosphate, ribose, and mannose as flavor precursors in pork; the effect of monosaccharide addition on flavor generation. Meat Sci 81:419–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Ames JM, Guy RCE, Kipping GJ (2001) Effect of pH and temperature on the formation of volatile compounds in cysteine/reducing sugar/starch mixtures during extrusion cooking. J Agric Food Chem 49:1885–1894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Elmore JS, Warren HE, Mottram DS, Scollan ND, Enser M, Richardson RI, Wood JD (2004) A comparison of the aroma volatiles and fatty acid compositions of grilled beef muscle from Aberdeen Angus and Holstein-Friesian steers fed diets based on silage or concentrates. Meat Sci 68:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Feiner G (2006) Meat products handbook: practical science and technology. Woodhead, CRC PressGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Macleod G (1994) The flavor of beef. In: Shahidi F (ed) The flavor of meat and meat products. Blackie, London, pp 4–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Kani Y, Yoshikawa N, Okada S, Abe H (2008) Taste-active components in the mantle muscle of the oval squid Sepioteuthis lessoniana and their effects on squid taste. Food Res International 41:371–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Gerber N, Scheeder MRL, Wenk C (2009) The influence of cooking and fat trimming on the actual nutrient intake from meat. Meat Sci 81:148–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Leonhardt M, Wenk C (1997) Animal species and muscle related differences in thiamine and riboflavin contents of Swiss meat. Food Chem 59:449–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Güntert M, Brüning J, Emberger R, Köpsel M, Kuhn W, Thielmann T (1990) Identification and formation of some selected sulfur-containing flavor compounds in various meat model systems. J Agric Food Chem 38:2027–2041CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Serra X, Guerrero L, Guardia MD, Gil M, Sanudo C, Panea B, Campo MM, Olleta JL, Garcya-Cachan MD, Piedrafita J, Oliver MA (2008) Eating quality of young bulls from three Spanish beef breed-production systems and its relationships with chemical and instrumental meat quality. Meat Sci 79:98–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Mandell IB, Buchanan-Smith JG, Holub BJ, Campbell CP (1997) Effects of fish meal in beef cattle diets on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and fatty acid composition of longissimus muscle. Anim Sci 75:910–919Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Monson F, Sanudo C, Sierra I (2005) Influence of breed and aging time on the sensory meat quality and consumer acceptability in intensively reared beef. Meat Sci 71:471–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Lu P, Li D, Yin J, Zhang L, Wang Z (2008) Flavor differences of cooked longissimus muscle from Chinese indigenous pig breeds and hybrid pig breed. Food Chem 107:1529–1537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Mandell IB, Buchanan-Smith JG, Campbell CP (1998) Effects of forage vs grain feeding on carcass characteristics, fatty acid composition and beef quality in Limousin-cross steers when time on feed is controlled. J Anim Sci 76:2619–2630Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Melton SL (1983) Effect of forage feeding on beef flavor. Food Technol 37:239Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Larick DK, Turner BE (1990) Head space volatiles and sensory characteristics of ground beef from forage- and grain fed heifers. J Food Sci 54:649–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Fujimura S, Kadowaki M (2006) Improvement of meat tastes by dietary components. Bull Fac Agric Nigata Univ 58:151–153Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Erwan E, Alimon AR, Sazili AQ, Yaakub H, Karim R (2011) Effects of levels of l-leucine supplementation with sub-optimal protein in the diet of grower-finisher broiler chickens on carcass composition and sensory characteristics Asian–Australasian. J Anim Sci 24:650–654Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Stelzleni AM, Johnson DD (2008) Effect of days on concentrate feed on sensory off-flavor score, off-flavor descriptor and fatty acid profiles for selected muscles from cull beef cows. Meat Sci 79:382–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Kukowski C, Maddock RJ, Wulf DM, Fausti SW, Taylor GL (2005) Evaluating consumer acceptability and willingness to pay for various beef chuck muscles. J Anim Sci 83:2605–2610Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Ba HV, Park KM, Dashdorj D, Inho Hwang IH (2014) Effect of muscle type and vacuum chiller ageing period on the chemical compositions, meat quality, sensory attributes and volatile compounds of Korean native cattle beef. Anim Sci J 85:164–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Yancey EJ, Dikeman ME, Hachmeister KA, Chambers E, Milliken GA (2005) Flavor characterization of top-blade, top-sirloin, and tenderloin steaks as affected by pH, maturity, and marbling. Anim Sci 83:2618–2623Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Stetzer AJ, Cadwallader K, Singh TK, Mckeith FK, Brewer MS (2008) Effect of enhancement and aging on flavor and volatile compounds in various beef muscles. Meat Sci 79:13–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Calkins CR, Hodgen JM (2007) A fresh look at meat flavor. Meat Sci 77:63–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Aristoy MC, Toldra F (1998) Concentration of free amino acids and dipeptides in porcine skeletal muscle with different oxidative patterns. Meat Sci 50:327–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Dashdorj D, Yang J, Ba HV, Ryu KS, Hwang IH (2013) Differences in the taste-active compounds between Hanwoo LD and ST muscles and its comparison with Angus LD muscle. Korean J Food Sci Anim 33:508–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Feidt A, Pettit F, Bruas-Reuigner Brun-Bellut J (1996) Release of free amino-acids during aging in bovine meat. Meat Sci 44:19–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Madruga MS, Mottram DS (1995) The effect of pH on the formation of Maillard-derived aroma volatiles using a cooked meat system. J Sci Food Agric 68:305–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    England EM, Matarneh SK, Scheffler TL, Wachet C, Gerrard DE (2014) pH inactivation of phosphofructokinase arrests postmortem glycolysis. Meat Sci 98:850–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Cho BW, Oliveros MC, Park KM, Do KT, Lee KH, Seo KS, Choi JG, Lee MJ, Cho IK, Choi BC, Ryu KS, Hwang IH (2009) Objective and subjective quality characteristics of pork longissimus muscle as a function of the ultimate pH. Korean J Food Sci Anim Res 29:685–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Shu CK, Hagedorn ML, Mookherjee BD, Ho CT (1985) pH effect on the volatile components in the thermal degradation of cysteine. J Agric Food Chem 33:442–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Meynier A, Mottram DS (1995) The effect of pH on the formation of volatile compound in meat-related model systems. Food Chem 52:361–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Toldra F, Aristoy MC, Flores M (2000) Contribution of muscle amino peptidases to favor development in dry-cured ham. Food Res Int 33:181–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Campo MM, Sanudo C, Panea B, Alberti P, Santolaria P (1999) Breed type and aging time effects on sensory characteristics of beef strip loin steaks. Meat Sci 51:383–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Wu G, Farouk MM, Clerens S, Rosenvold K (2014) Effect of beef ultimate pH and large structural protein changes with aging on meat tenderness. Meat Sci 98:637–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Ames JM, Defaye AB, Bates L (1997) The effect of pH on the volatiles formed in an extruded starch–glucose–lysine model system. Food Chem 58:323–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Shima K, Yamada N, Suzuki E, Harada T (1998) Novel brothy taste modifier isolated from beef broth. J Agric Food Chem 46:1465–1468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Mohamed R, Livia S, Hassan S, Soher E, Badawy EA (2009) Changes in free amino acids and biogenic amines of Egyptian salted-fermented fish during ripening and storage. Food Chem 115:635–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceChonbuk National UniversityJeonjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of CommodityMongolian State University of AgricultureUlaanbaatarMongolia
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceAlbaha UniversityAlbahaKingdom of Saudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations