Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Predicting meat quality

The project identifies novel physical and biochemical indicators of the quality properties of meat which can be used by the meat industry. This helps to alleviate one of the major problems in the meat industry (ie the inability to produce consistent quality), and should increase consumer satisfaction. Amino acid and peptide variations (as biochemical markers of meat quality) along the strip-loin were examined in ageing beef. A study is currently underway which will correlate the variations in amino acids and peptides over the ageing period with various meat quality attributes. In another preliminary study enzyme activity and electrophoretic patterns of proteins from pork samples have been examined. In terms of physical markers, the maximum amount of muscle shortening (as measured by isometric tension) indicated toughness, while pH changes and the time taken to reach maximum muscle shortening were good predictors of variations in taste and juiciness. Measurements taken early after slaughter had more 'predictive' value than those taken during rigor development. Tests with near-infrared (NIR) indicated that it has potential to predict sensory tenderness and hardness in beef, and NIR measurements on frozen beef were more 'predictive' of tenderness and juiciness than those on fresh samples.

Reported by

The National Food Centre
Dunsinea Castleknock
15 Dublin
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