Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Search List

A review of methods for distinguishing mechanically separated meat from desinewed meat - FA0139

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Opinion on MSM published on 27 March 2013 set out possible ways of determining whether a meat product is MSM, and recommended further research. Other research has also been conducted to consider alternative ways of distinguishing mechanically separated meat (MSM) from other production methods like desinewed meat (DSM).

We expect that policy negotiations on definitions of MSM will take place with the European Commission in autumn 2013, and wish to consider the research in advance to inform these. We would like to identify how DSM may be distinguished from MSM using quantitative scientific methods.
Defra and FSA therefore wish to commission a short desk study to:

• Set out the different scientific approaches available to support enforcement of definitions of different types of MSM;
• Identify gaps in the methodology;
• Evaluate which approaches/methods need to be developed or validated in order most successfully to support the distinction between DSM and MSM.
Specifically, the review will assess:
• The state of the knowledge base [brief look at what methods are available; which ones have potential] including the evidence/conclusions set out in the EFSA Opinion – needs to consider from EU perspective including chemical, histological, molecular, etc.)

• Identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing methods and those being recommended by EFSA

• set out suitable methodological approaches for supporting the different definitions being currently (and potentially ) considered by the Commission eg MSM1, MSM 2 which, if possible, should include outlining what is needed to quantify existing methodology for objective, improved differentiation of the different types of MSM / DSM [that is consistently able to be reproduced by analysts.]
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : FA0139 Final MSM Research Report   (770k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £23,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Leatherhead Foods International Ltd