1. To characterize the diversity of sheepmeat from regional production systems across Europe, in terms of its organoleptic properties and its composition.
2. To identify the quality characteristics of sheepmeat preferred by trained sensory assessors and consumers in different European regions, and to define those regional needs.
3.To develop a rapid, objective, analytical method to classify sheep carcass meat according to its geographical origin,.composition and sensory traits.
4. To establish the extent of change in sheepmeat quality attributes which can be manipulated through dietary means and different agetweight slaughterend-points.
5 To evaluate the implications for human health of producing a diverse range ot sheepmeats, with particular reference to the fatty acid composition of lean tissue.
The carcass and meat qualities of lamb types produced across Member States of the EU are diverse, and vary from the pale, delicately flavoured, small, milk-fed lambs in the Mediterranean regions to the larger, fatter, more robustly flavoured types produced in more northerly areas.
Although consumers of food products may generally exhibit preferences for varieties which are traditional and available locally, there are undoubted trends of a more catholic attitude towards foods among European consumers. This project aims to establish, on a scientific basis, the ratings of particular sensory qualities of different lamb meats awarded by assessors in different Member States tasting both their home-produced and imported meat samples. This will be accomplished by each of six Partners, extending from Iceland in the north to Greece in the South, procuring and exchanging samples of nationally important, but diverse, lamb types, and assessments will be made by both trained taste panels and consumer groups. These assessments will be underpinned by instrumental meat quality measurements, with particular emphasis on the fatty acid composition of the tissues and the characteristion of flavour and texture. A rapid analytical method of 'fingerprinting' quality in the different lamb types will be applied and developed. Finally, the extent of change in meat quality which can be attained via dietary manipulation of lambs, or by changing slaughter age, will be explored in order to produce meats of desired quality in specific markets.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
540 06 Thessaloniki
33010 Pagnacco Udine