Hanging beef carcasses in different configurations in the cooler affect some carcass muscle tenderness. Forty Nellore steer carcasses (ten per day) were chosen at random in a federally inspected slaughter plant and hanged alternate left and right sides either in the traditional way by the hindquarter (HQ) or by the forequarter (FQ) also called "tenderbife". Carcasses were selected from steers up to 30 months old and had an average hot carcass weight of 244.1 kg. These carcasses were chilled for 48 hours, when samples from the Longissimus dorsi (LD) at the 12th rib and the Biceps femoris (BF) at the P8 site were removed, kept under refrigeration (0-2ºC) for five days and frozen for future analysis. The temperature of the LD after 24 hours taken at the 12th rib was not different for HQ (1.0ºC) and FQ (0.9ºC). Fat thickness measured at the 12th rib was lower (P < 0.05) for HQ (3.8 mm) than FQ (4.3 mm). All samples were thawed during 48 hours under refrigeration for tenderness evaluation. Warner Bratzler Shear force from the LD was lower (P < 0.001) for FQ (3.53 kg) than HQ (4.78 kg) and was not different for BF. Total cooking losses were not different between HQ (19.7%) and FQ (18.9%). Hanging beef carcass by the forequarter caused an improvement in tenderness of the LD without any detrimental effect on the BF (cap of rump).
beef cattle; carcass suspension; meat quality; tenderness