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Extend an existing method using light microscopy to determine whether material recovered off beef and lamb bones meets the definition of MSM - FA0201

A revised EU definition of mechanically separated meat (MSM) came into force in 2006. MSM is the product obtained by "removing meat from flesh-bearing bones after boning or from poultry carcases, using mechanical means resulting in the loss or modification of the muscle fibre structure” (Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004).

The aim of this project was to extend the existing light microscopy method previously developed under the Government's Food Authenticity Programme, which can be used to identify MSM from other meat products obtained by mechanical recovery (hand and machine deboned meat and minced meat) from ruminant bones. The research investigates the loss or modification of muscle fibre structure in different beef and lamb samples, and consider other structural aspects, such as dispersed protein and connective tissue. The final report and standard operating procedure provides guidance and reference images which can be used in the identification of MSM, meat and meat preparations.
The objectives of this research were split into two parts;
1. Determine the structural integrity of a number of ruminant samples to determine if MSM can be differentiated from meat deboned from low pressure machines (DSM) and hand deboned and minced meat.
2. Evaluate the potential for osteocalcin as a marker for MSM in meat products.

The specific objectives were:
T1.1 Obtain samples of mechanically separated meat and minced hand-deboned and machine-butchered meats for analysis.
T1.2 Section all samples, stain and evaluate under the light microscope
T1.3 Evaluate microscopy internally with different operators to assess ability to differentiate between meat, desinewed products and MSM recovered from ruminant bones.

T2.1 Obtain samples of mechanically separated meat and minced hand-deboned and machine-deboned meats for osteocalcin analysis
T2.2 Optimise extraction of osteocalcin from meat
T2.3 Perform ELISA analysis of samples

Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Q01131 Beef and Lamb MSM report and SOP   (3352k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2010

Cost: £36,296
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Leatherhead Foods International Ltd
Food and Drink              
Food manufacturing industry              
Food Quality              
Meat Traceability