Over 1200 steaks were double tasted at the Dunbia, SRUC and breedr research trailer at the Royal Highland Show.

The project was looking very scientifically at what factors make for the best steak eating experience. In this mobile sensory lab, there are 12 environmentally controlled tasting stations, where the public were given a chance to taste and score steaks, from a variety of breeds and production systems, which had all been cooked identically.

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The information which came back will now be joined up with the history of the animal which produced the steak as well as test results in the abattoir such as tenderness scores and spectral images. The idea is to capture enough consumer data to be able to analyse which breeds and production systems produce the tastiest beef and to use the findings to influence future beef breeding and production systems.

At the Show, Prof Mike Coffey said: “Each person will get three steak samples and we are telling them nothing about them. The steaks come from six different breeds and a mix of farming systems. All this data is getting pulled together and results shouldn’t be far away as the project finishes later this year. What we are trying to work out is what makes an efficient lifetime for an animal and tastier output at the end.”