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Science Technology

Using Infrared Cameras To Find Tastiness of Beef 108

JoshuaInNippon writes "Might we one day be able to use our cell phone cameras to pick out the best piece of meat on display at the market? Some Japanese researchers seem to hope so. A team of scientists is using infrared camera technology to try and determine the tastiest slices of high-grade Japanese beef. The researchers believe that the levels of Oleic acid found within the beef strongly affect the beef's tenderness, smell, and overall taste. The infrared camera can be tuned to pick out the Oleic acid levels through a whole slab, a process that would be impossible to do with the human eye. While the accuracy is still relatively low — a taste test this month resulted in only 60% of participants preferring beef that was believed to have had a higher level of Oleic acid — the researchers hope to fine tune the process for market testing by next year."
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Using Infrared Cameras To Find Tastiness of Beef

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  • And then what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FlyByPC ( 841016 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @01:41PM (#30971548) Homepage
    So you prompt the sellers to spray each piece with Oleic acid to make their display look extra-tasty. It needs to be a more sophisticated, hard-to-fool algorithm than that.
  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @03:03PM (#30972378)
    Seriously, I would love some objective metrics for tastiness. I feel meat and vegetables have been selected for all the wrong things - resistance to herbicides, vibrant color, durability during shipping - because these are what consumers can see through the shinkwrap at the store. If we could put a number on how "zesty" tomatoes taste, then there would be an incentive to sell tomatoes that taste like tomatoes.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @03:08PM (#30972420)

    Bright red meat... damned near glowing with health?

    Food chemistry is well understood, as is customer preference. The industry has been using every trick in the book for a thousand years to sell product to customers.

  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @04:55PM (#30973570)

    Duration might be irrelevant in cooking a steak if your goal is to get it to a specific temperature, rather than actually make it taste good.

    For many people (who enjoy steaks at least), the perfect steak is a slight char on the outside (which helps seal in the interior juices and serves to kill any bacteria) and fairly rare and juicy on the inside, just enough to melt the fats but not let them all drain out. This is best done by high heat for a short period, ie it's pretty hard to do when you cook the entire thing to the same tepid degree over a long time.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents