March 22, 2016

Meat quality focus of symposium at Midwest


By Holly Webb, ASAS/ASAP communications intern

March 21, 2016 – The “Growth, Development, Meat Biology and Meat Science Symposium” was held in Des Moines at the 2016 Midwest Section meeting on Tuesday March, 15.

The chair, Dr. Chad Stahl, introduced the first speaker, Dr. Steven Shackelford to share his presentation entitled, “Use of visible and near infrared spectroscopy to predict beef and pork quality.” Dr. Shackelford discussed the method developed for the evaluation of meat quality, first addressing the protocol development in which a bifurcated contact probe was compared to a high-intensity probe.

The study then addressed beef longissimus tenderness and the tenderness of other beef muscles with a second generation model. Although the first model allowed for online tenderness prediction, a second generation model was developed and validated for beef carcass evaluation. Additionally the model was not affected by the length of time that the longissimus muscle was exposed to air (bloom) before evaluation.

The interaction with blade tenderization and aging time was assessed; followed by pork longissimus tenderness, the biochemical basis of the study, color stability, the level of intramuscular fat and the need for development of a model for the evaluation of fatty acid profiles. The model was also successfully field tested for both U.S. Choice and U.S. Select carcasses.

Dr. Jason Apple was the next speaker, posing the question to the audience, what is meat quality? Dr. Apple focused on ‘The quandaries of measuring meat quality,” addressing fresh meat color, instrumental color data, water holding capacity, iodine value and meat cookery.

Dr. Apple emphasized the need to reference which color scale is used when publishing studies. Similarly, the need to state the lighting used and the display case, as external lighting does matter and can impact color. This is particularly relevant for variations among laboratories and plants.

Dr. Apple then spoke about instrumental color data. Illuminant and aperture size have a greater effect on color that the apparatus used. The bloom time also needs to be stated in papers.

“Almost 50% of authors fail to list the illuminant used,” said Dr. Apple.

When assessing iodine value, Dr. Apple emphasized the need to pick a consistent ‘spot’ to collect the sample. Water holding capacity was then detailed, with various methods given as examples. Finally, Dr. Apple spoke about the importance of cookery methods, specifically the end point temperature versus the degree of doneness.

The final speaker of the symposium, Dr. Dale Woerner, presented some of the research from Colorado State University on, “Differentiating lamb flavor. Dr. Woerner explored the preferences and complaints associated with lamb quality in the United States from the most recent National Lamb Quality Audit (NLQA).

The NLQA identified eating satisfaction as the most prominent factor defining lamb quality, with consumers most commonly identifying eating satisfaction as lamb flavor and/or taste. Consumers also identified they would pay a premium for lamb with guaranteed eating satisfaction.

The purpose of the study was to develop a proof of concept for using technologies to differentiate lamb flavor and identify the opportunity to utilize technologies in the production process, with the final capability of segregating lamb into unique flavor groups, such as “mild,” “medium,” or “bold.”