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Identifying needs in meat quality research - FO0310

The science of meat quality is still in development, both in terms of consistency and general levels of quality. It is well documented that many factors, including livestock genetics, feed regime, stock management (including housing), transport, slaughter system, storage and processing impact on the ultimate quality of the product. However, the materials science aspects of quality, and the interaction of the above factors to provide the required quality attributes, needs to be better understood. There are different aspects of quality to be considered in addition to organoleptic qualities, including nutritional aspects such as amount, type and distribution of fat in the carcass. Better on-line monitoring of quality parameters are also needed throughout the supply chain, including in the abattoir, as well as understanding the resource efficiency implications of improved quality.

This study will assess the current state of knowledge regarding meat quality and assess the state of the art in understanding how certain quality parameters can be manipulated taking account of both organoleptic and nutritional aspects. The level of exploitation of this knowledge by the industry will be described. Barriers to uptake will be considered and potential solutions discussed. The study will also identify targets for new quality improvements and research gaps.
The project will, for each of the species cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens:

1. Assess the current state of knowledge regarding meat quality (organoleptic and nutritional)
1.1. Review available information of factors influencing consumer perception and purchasing and quality parameters important to consumers
1.2. Review recent UK research on meat quality, including Defra funded research

2. Determine the level of exploitation of current knowledge by the industry
2.1. Identify research outcomes that have resulted in industry change and those that have not through interviewing key industry personnel

3. Describe barriers to the uptake of current knowledge
3.1. Describe reasons for lack of adoption of key research findings
3.2. Describe difficulties with labelling meat with modified nutritional properties

4. Identify potential areas for new research on meat quality
4.1. Identify generic issues that require further research
4.2. Identify likely expertise and level of investment required
4.3. Describe likely research outcomes and routes to exploitation
Project Documents
• Final Report : FO0310_Identifying needs in meat quality research   (171k)
• Final Report - Annex : Objective 1.1a Consumer perception and purchasing Red Meat   (86k)
• Final Report - Annex : 1.2_Review of UK meat quality research   (342k)
• Final Report - Annex : Objectives 2,3,4_Exploitation of meat quality research and future research needs   (232k)
• Final Report - Annex : Objectives 3.2_Labelling red meat   (184k)
• Final Report - Annex : Poultry meat quality research review   (380k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2007

Cost: £36,027
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Meat and Livestock Commission
Food and Drink              
Food manufacturing industry              
Food Quality              
Meat Quality              
Fields of Study
Resource Efficient and Resilient Food Chain