How Do Different Meat Temperatures Affect Knife Force?

G.M. Hägg1, K. Vogel1, *, J. Karltun2, R.W. McGorry3
1 Unit of Ergonomics, School of Technology and Health, KTH, Alfred Nobels Allé, SE-141 52 Huddinge, Sweden
2 School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden
3 Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA

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Vogel et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Unit of Ergonomics, School of Technology and Health, KTH, Alfred Nobels Allé, SE-141 52 Huddinge, Sweden; Tel: +46 8 790 48 11; E-mail:


Meat cutters have long since claimed that knife forces increase with lower meat temperatures. This study was performed to find out what effects the meat temperature has on cutting forces. In addition, the same issue was addressed for pure fat. One hundred and forty four samples of lean meat and of fat respectively were collected and put overnight in one of three refrigerators with temperatures 2, 7 and 12ºC, 48 in each. These samples were cut while measuring cutting forces in an Anago KST Sharpness Analyzer machine. The results show that there were no significant differences in knife forces concerning lean meat at the three temperatures. However, the force in pure fat at 2ºC was significantly increased by 30% compared to the other temperatures. The forces in fat were generally three times higher than for lean meat, regardless of temperature.

Keywords: Deboner, fat, meat cutting work, MSD, pork, repetitive work, temperature.