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Dry aging and gender specific taste preferences

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  • Henrik
    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
    • Jul 2014
    • 4492
    • Stockholm, Sweden

    Dry aging and gender specific taste preferences

    I'm performing some dry age tests currently, and I've done my fair share of studying previous findings/expert knowledge.

    In one dissertation thesis done at SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) done by Anna Wallby in 2012 I found some interesting facts. The study itself compared dry aging in a Tublin bag (http://tub-ex.com/) compared to vacuum packed meat. The specific cut used was Longissimus Dorsi, and various tests were done on each cut that were cut into 6 pieces (to compare the center to the outer edges of the meat for example). Moisture was measured, color was analyzed in a spectral analysis machine et.c. All done by the book.

    At the end of the study blind tests were performed at large shopping malls. Each cut of meat was given a random code, so nobody knew which was which. A large amount of people sampled the dry aged vs the wet aged meat and was asked to rank them according to these three criteria:

    1. Which did you like best?
    2. Which was most tender?
    3. Which was most succulent (juicy)?

    The meat was dry aged for 21 days. In total 264 people participated (42% women and 58% men. 48.1 % were between 41-65 years old. They ate beef at least once per week). Here are the results:

    Tublin Vacuum No diff
    Best 57.6% 37.9% 4.5%
    Most tender 61.7% 31.1% 7.2%
    Juiciest 61% 34.1% 4.9%

    Now as you can see the dry age meat won hands down.

    A second test was also done by dry aging roast beef for 14 days. In this test 129 people participated, doing either 1 or 2 comparisons, leading to 169 comparisons in total. 43.4% were men and 56.6% women. 42.6% of the testers were in the age 41-65.

    NOW TO THE INTERESTING PART. If you separate the tasters' preferences from the second test (roast beef) according to gender, these were the results:

    Tublin Vacuum
    Best 67.3% 32.7%
    Most tender 61.5% 38.5%
    Juiciest 65.6% 34.4%

    Again, dry aging won by a landslide. Now check this out:

    Tublin Vacuum
    Best 50.8% 49.2%
    Most tender 50.9% 49.1%
    Juiciest 43.8% 56.2%

    The difference is so small it falls within the statistical error margin. Hence, in a double-blind test men cannot tell the difference, but women can. (When the test subjects couldn't tell any difference they were removed from the data so as not to skew the results).

    The study can be found in full here (in Swedish): https://stud.epsilon.slu.se/4782/7/w...a_20121018.pdf

    Now what do you think of this? Do you have any similar studies done in the US? It would be really interesting to read more on this subject.

  • Henrik
    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
    • Jul 2014
    • 4492
    • Stockholm, Sweden

    It should be said that the purpose of the study was to show that dry aged (using bags like Umai/Tublin) was preferred, and also that this was a viable solution for the food industry to improve their products without resorting to full dry aging. The gender differences was more a 'side effect', or something that showed up when analyzing the test data wrt to the last few tests done with the public involved.


    • Troutman
      Club Member
      • Aug 2017
      • 7841
      • 1521




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      I think I fall into the category of the results obtained by men. I do like aged beef but only a little more then wet aged. For my palette any thing over 21 days gets a little too dense and jerky like. It's said that the maximum degree of tenderness is reached within 28 days of dry aging so your're really just imparting a nuttiness to the meat by continuing to age and pull out moisture.

      At any rate, like you I'm dry aging a brisket right now, first time for me. Be interesting to see how a larger cut fairs after a long dry aging.


      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm the same. Too much dry aging is not for me. Either way, good to hear your brisket is 'en route'.
    • Jerod Broussard
      • Jun 2014
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      I rank dry-aged (standard, no bag) with that of rosemary and ginger. They all give an undertone/aftertaste that I really don't care for.

      I may try the bag on a prime rib soon.


      • Willy
        Charter Member
        • Apr 2015
        • 1930
        • High Desert of the Great Southwest

        Thanks, Henrik. And mucho thanks to science and scientists.


        • Potkettleblack
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          What exactly is a roast beef that they aged?

          They were hyper specific about the muscle for the steak (strip/eye of rib) but the roast beef is just a roast... was it cooked then aged? is this a specific term in Sweden?

          I am into the dry age to about 55 days. I like that funk, to a point. But then again, I also like rosemary to a point and ginger for days.


          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            This is a lean cut. Getting names right is just impossible. Here's what I think it is in English: https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.co...loin-tip-roast

          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            So, I wonder if the leanness is a confounding factor. I don’t know enough about dry aging, as steak houses in the us tend to focus on the LD muscle and it’s close neighbors.

          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            It could be. Either way, this calls for some blind tests :-) I'll see what I can come up with.
        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          Club Member
          • Jun 2018
          • 849
          • Eastern NC
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          For the study were all the people roughly in the same age group? I know science has shown that age plays a big part in taste preference in addition to gender and race. (shown in studies for asparagus, brussels sprouts, and coriander that I've read previously, but I'm sure there are others)

          Found this googling my own question, women overall are more perceptive to taste than men regardless of ethnicity https://academic.oup.com/chemse/arti.../5/449/2366044
          Last edited by ItsAllGoneToTheDogs; January 21, 2019, 01:57 PM.


          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            No, there was a spread, as they asked people in two malls (when passing by). Their age and gender was noted to keep track of the 'population'. I'm with you on the age factor. Thanks for posting the link, interesting read.
        • JimLinebarger
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          • Jun 2017
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          That study does sort of explain some things. Like when a guy finds something that smells horrific and nearly keels over from the stench, he then shares it with another guy, who then smells it and reacts the same. And if possible, the sharing continues with other guys. From my experience, though not extensive, when a woman smells something horrific, she throws it away. She MAY tell you about it but usually you either never know it or you find out when (if) you take out the trash.


          • Backroadmeats
            Backroadmeats commented
            Editing a comment
            That is too funny.. and sadly true!
        • Albrecht
          Former Member
          • Apr 2020
          • 1

          Hello Henrik, I've just come across your post looking for materials/books/papers on dry aging (so far I'm working on my dissertation proposal). My research topic is Marketing strategies of dry aging: consumer sensory acceptance and economic expediency. Is there a full English text of the above study? I'd appreciate any help.



          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            Not that I know of, but feel free to reach out to the authors and ask. I found it by googling, so I don't know more than I read in their study.
        • drobinson003
          Club Member
          • Jul 2019
          • 96

          Dry aged beef, like many other things, elicits varied opinions. I like it, because it is more tender, tastier, and
          exhibits characteristics not present in wet aged supermarket offerings. I have been dry aging beef for a few years now and have included in this post pics of a 109A —21#— that I started last week. The first pic shows it before putting in the dry age unit, the second shows it in the unit, and the third shows it after 8 days, After dry aging several primal cuts I have settled on 35 days as my preferred length. After 14 days tenderness has maxed and the subsequent time enhances flavor nuances.

          Thanks for the study. Always interested in adding knowledge on the subject.
          Attached Files


          • drobinson003
            Club Member
            • Jul 2019
            • 96

            Actually the second pic is 8 days. Sorry.




            2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

            We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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