Many consumers only recently learned about lean finely textured beef thru media reports of "pink slime"- but Courtney Moon knows all about it first-hand. Last year - the University of Arkansas Animal Science Student saw what Tyson calls Lean Beef Trim processed at a Texas plant. Then Moon analyzed it.
The product has been under fire because of how it's produced. It's scraped from carcasses, heated and centrifuged and then disinfected with ammonium hydroxide. However - the industry insists it's safe and wholesome. Moon looked at characteristics like oxidation, tenderness, color variation, cooking loss and pH.
Moon's instructor - Janeal Yancey - says the product has been treated unfairly and misrepresented in the media.
Yancey says Lean Beef Trim is nutritionally the same as conventionally produced ground beef - and is probably safer. As a side note - a livestock market specialist at Kansas State University says the controversy over the product probably drove live weight cattle prices three to five-cents a pound lower in March due to the reduced demand for lean trim. The market has been rebounding over the last couple of weeks.