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Warner R.D.,CSIRO | Thompson J.M.,University of New England of Australia | Polkinghorne R.,Murrurundi | Gutzke D.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Kearney G.A.,36 Paynes Road
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

Few consumer data are available on the effects of high rigor temperatures on eating quality of different muscles in the beef carcass. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of high rigor temperature (heat-toughening) on the consumer and quality traits of two beef muscles. A dataset containing consumer eating-quality scores for 3865 striploins (m. longissimus lumborum) and 734 rumps (gluteus medius) was analysed. Temperature at pH 6 (temp@pH6) was calculated for the striploin and carcasses with a temp@pH6 of >35°C were classified as high rigor temperature (heat-toughened) carcasses. For short ageing periods (1-7 days), high rigor temperature striploins were assessed, by a consumer panel, as being more tender with higher overall liking and higher (more liked) flavour and juiciness, than were striploins entering rigor at a lower temperature. Beyond 14 days of ageing, the high rigor temperature striploins showed minimal improvement in tenderness and the other eating-quality attributes also showed minimal improvements. The consumer scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking for the rump decreased with increasing rigor temperature. High rigor temperature striploins were scored, by trained graders, to have a higher proportion of coarser and softer texture and paler colour. Carcasses defined as 'high rigor temperature' will show minimal ageing after extended storage and, at grading, have a higher proportion with pale colour and softer, coarser texture compared to lower rigor temperature carcasses. In conclusion, methods to reduce high rigor temperatures in beef carcasses would improve the acceptability of beef. © 2014 CSIRO.


Geesink G.,University of New England of Australia | Robertson J.,University of New England of Australia | Ball A.,Meat and Livestock Australia
Meat Science | Year: 2015

This study evaluated the effect of 7days of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP: 80% O2, 20% CO2) or skin packaging (no oxygen) of beef M. longissimus steaks after 1 or 7days of ageing in vacuum on objective and sensory meat quality traits and degradation of desmin. Shear force was negatively affected by MAP after both 1 and 7days of ageing in vacuum (P<0.005). Sensory evaluation of grilled steaks revealed significantly negative effects of MAP on sensory traits, resulting in an overall decrease of 8 points in the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) eating quality score (MQ4). Desmin degradation was not affected by packaging method, suggesting that the toughening effect of high-oxygen MAP is not due to inhibition of postmortem proteolysis. The results of this study and others suggest that packaging method should be incorporated as a variable in the MSA grading system. Further research to quantify the impact of oxidative cross-linking of proteins on tenderness appears warranted. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | September 1, 2016
Site: phys.org

The project led by The University of Western Australia in collaboration with Department of Agriculture and Food, Murdoch University and the Kazusa DNA Research Institute, will revolutionise the development of new and improved forage legumes, which underpin the State's $1.8 billion livestock industry. Clovers are widely grown around the world as forage legumes for livestock and they add nitrogen to the soil which assists crop production. Sub clover is the most important annual pasture legume in Australia, sown across an estimated 29 million hectares of agricultural land. UWA Molecular Biologist Dr Parwinder Kaur said the challenge was not only to determine the sequence of sub clover DNA but to understand the genes from a functional point of view. "The changes provide a breakthrough for breeding of future sub clovers which will increase agriculture production by increasing the health of the soil. "This is the first genome sequence published for an annual clover and describes 85.4 per cent of the sub clover genome and contains 42,706 genes. It represents years of research and a commitment to creating new knowledge that will feed our future." Department senior pasture breeder and UWA Adjunct Associate Professor Phil Nichols said the discovery had important benefits for the agriculture industry. "This work will allow the development of DNA markers that are closely associated with genes controlling traits of interest, which can be used in breeding programs to markedly improve selection efficiency, particularly for traits difficult to measure in the field or glasshouse," Dr Nichols said. "Such traits include resistance to redlegged earth mites and important diseases, hardseededness, tolerance to false breaks, early season growth under cool temperatures, phosphorus use efficiency, phtyo-oestrogen content, methanogenic potential in the rumen, flowering time and other traits related to biomass production." The work was funded through the Science and Innovation Award by Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Research Council. UWA Centre for Plant Genetics and Breeding Director Professor William Erskine said this understanding of the sub clover genome would also aid breeding programs of other important pasture legumes with more complex genomes, such as white and red clovers, annual medics and lucerne. The research paper has been published in the prestigious Nature journal Scientific Reports. More information: Hideki Hirakawa et al. Draft genome sequence of subterranean clover, a reference for genus Trifolium, Scientific Reports (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep30358


Williams P.,Health Science University | Droulez V.,Meat and Livestock Australia
Food Australia | Year: 2010

Trimming fat off meat is recommended for reducing intake of saturated fat. This paper reviews trends over the past 20 years that have influenced the red meat supply in response to consumer and health professional demands for lean meat, drawing on published survey data, marketing information, analyses of meat content and qualitative research commissioned by Meat and Livestock Australia. Separable fat is the greatest determinant of the saturated fat in Australian red meat, and changes in the processing and butchering practices have combined to produce red meat today with significantly lower separable fat. Nutrient analyses in 2002 showed that the separable fat on raw retail samples was up to 38% less than in comparable cuts in 1983. Further trimming by consumers prior to consumption is also increasing. In 2007, 89% of consumers reported buying trimmed meat or removing some or all fat prior to consumption. The 1995 National Nutrition Survey showed that red meat contributed less than 10% of dietary saturated fat intake in Australia, and continues to make an important contribution to intake of iron, zinc, omega-3 and vitamin B12, as well as encouraging consumption of vegetables. Dietary messages and strategies for reducing saturated fat intake have increased fat trimming practices by retailers as well as consumers. Consequently, trimmed red meat is not a major source of saturated fat in the Australian diet. To avoid overestimating total and saturated fat intake, dietary advice and analyses should ensure data reflects red meat as consumed rather than as purchased.


Warner R.D.,CSIRO | Dunshea F.R.,University of Melbourne | Gutzke D.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Lau J.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Kearney G.,36 Paynes Road
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

Beef carcasses undergoing rapid pH fall while the loin muscle temperature is still high are described as heat-shortened, heat-toughened or 'high rigor temperature' carcasses, with subsequent negative effects on quality traits. The aim of the study was to quantify the occurrence of high rigor temperature in beef carcasses across Australia and to identify the causative factors. Data was collected over 4-5 days at each of seven beef processing plants from 1512 beef carcasses. The beef carcasses were from both grass-and grain-fed cattle ranging in days on grain feeding from 0 (grass-fed) to 350 days and the category of cattle ranged from veal to ox and cow. Data collected on the day of slaughter included the duration of electrical inputs at the immobiliser, electrical stimulation and hide puller, longissimus muscle pH and temperature decline, hot carcass weight and P8 fat depth. At grading, ultimate pH, eye muscle area, wetness of the loin surface and colour score were also collected. The temperature at pH 6 was calculated and if it was >35°C, the carcass was defined as 'high rigor temperature'. Modelling of the data was conducted using GLMM and REML. The occurrence of high rigor temperature across all seven beef processing plants was 74.6% ranging from 56 to 94% between beef processing plants. Increasing days in the feedlot and heavier carcass weights were highly correlated and both caused an increase in the predicted temperature at pH 6 and in the % high rigor temperature (P < 0.05 for both). Longer duration of electrical inputs at the hide puller, fatter grass-fed cattle and fatter male (castrate) carcasses had a higher temperature at pH 6 and higher % high rigor temperature. Modelling showed that if the time to reach pH 6 in the longissimus muscle was 65 v. 105 min, the % high rigor temperature carcasses reduced from 98 to 19% in grain-fed cattle and 93 to 7% in grass-fed cattle. Higher plasma insulin levels at slaughter were associated with a higher temperature at pH 6 (rigor temperature) (P < 0.001). In conclusion, in order to reduce the incidence of high rigor temperature in grain-fed beef carcasses, methods for identifying high rigor temperature carcasses will be required and while some management strategies can be implemented now, others require further research. © 2014 CSIRO.


Phillips D.,Symbio Alliance | Tholath S.,Symbio Alliance | Jenson I.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Sumner J.,Meat and Livestock Australia
Food Control | Year: 2013

The fourth national baseline microbiological survey of Australian sheep meat was conducted in 2011 including for the first time samples from selected sheep meat primal cuts. Sheep and lamb legs (n = 613) and shoulders (n = 613) sampled at 12 meat processing establishments were found to have mean total viable counts (TVC, 25 °C) of 2.02 and 2.29 log10 cfu/cm2 respectively; Escherichia coli was isolated from 42.9% of legs and 34.6% of shoulders with respective mean counts of -0.44 and -0.63 log10 cfu/cm2 on positive samples. For samples of frozen boneless sheep meat (n = 551) the mean TVC was 2.80 log10 cfu/g and the mean count for the 12.5% of samples with detectable E. coli was 1.51 log10 cfu/g. Presence of E. coli O157:H7 was not assessed in any of the frozen boneless product but the pathogen was isolated from 2/613 leg and 1/613 shoulder samples. Salmonella was isolated from 17/613 leg samples, 5/613 shoulders and from 17/551 samples of frozen boneless product. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 1/613 shoulder samples but presence was not tested in any of the frozen boneless samples. Listeria spp. were not detected in any of the frozen boneless product and was isolated from 1/613 leg samples. Coagulase-positive staphylococci were isolated from 4.2%, 5.2% and 1.8% of leg, shoulder and frozen boneless sheep meat samples, respectively with positive samples having a mean log10 count of -0.21 cfu/cm2, 0.34 cfu/cm2 and 1.66 cfu/g respectively. It is concluded that, in the present survey, extreme weather patterns led to elevated levels of indicator organisms (aerobic plate counts and E. coli prevalence) on frozen trim compared with previous Australian baseline surveys. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Kiermeier A.,Statistical Process Improvement Consulting and Training Pty Ltd | Jenson I.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Sumner J.,Meat and Livestock Australia
Risk Analysis | Year: 2015

We analyze the risk of contracting illness due to the consumption in the United States of hamburgers contaminated with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) of serogroup O157 produced from manufacturing beef imported from Australia. We have used a novel approach for estimating risk by using the prevalence and concentration estimates of E. coli O157 in lots of beef that were withdrawn from the export chain following detection of the pathogen. For the purpose of the present assessment an assumption was that no product is removed from the supply chain following testing. This, together with a number of additional conservative assumptions, leads to an overestimation of E. coli O157-associated illness attributable to the consumption of ground beef patties manufactured only from Australian beef. We predict 49.6 illnesses (95%: 0.0-148.6) from the 2.46 billion hamburgers made from 155,000 t of Australian manufacturing beef exported to the United States in 2012. All these illness were due to undercooking in the home and less than one illness is predicted from consumption of hamburgers cooked to a temperature of 68 °C in quick-service restaurants. © 2014 Society for Risk Analysis.


Small A.H.,CSIRO | Jenson I.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Kiermeier A.,South Australian Research And Development Institute | Sumner J.,Meat and Livestock Australia
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2012

When vacuum-packed striploins and cube rolls processed by six Australian establishments were stored at -0.5°C to determine their shelf life, all product was acceptable organoleptically for at least 26 weeks. The aerobic plate counts and counts of lactic acid bacteria over the storage period did not accord with those established by previous studies, i.e., stationary phase attained at 7 to 8 log CFU/cm2 after 5 to 8 weeks followed by the development of negative sensory characteristics around 12 to 16 weeks. Rather, counts rarely progressed to 7 log CFU/cm2 even after 30 weeks. It is believed that the combined effects of meat pH, temperature, and CO2 concentration may combine to create conditions in which little or no growth occurs. Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection.


Jenson I.,Meat and Livestock Australia | Sumner J.,Meat and Livestock Australia
Meat Science | Year: 2012

Performance standards have been developed to express, for regulatory purposes, an acceptable level of food safety afforded by either a product or a process. These performance standards have reflected the development of scientific thought on food safety management through setting of microbiological criteria, implementing hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) systems, process control and risk-based management. In meat safety management, some performance standards reflect current risk-based thinking which sets objectives and/or criteria and allows freedom on how those objectives/criteria can be met. However, many performance standards do not reflect current thinking and some perpetuate the idea that meat can be consumed with zero risk. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | December 23, 2016
Site: phys.org

This is not as far fetched as it sounds. While 3-D printers have mainly been in the news for their ability to manufacture inedible goods, they are increasingly being used for culinary endeavours. 3-D food printers extrude soft liquid edible matter through nozzles that build up layer by layer in patters directed by a computer program. They can pump out everything from to chocolates, confectionery, biscuits and pancakes, to pasta, pizza and other savoury snacks. News reports and industry blogs are very positive about what 3-D food printing can offer. They have covered such events as Michelin-starred chefs experimenting with 3-D food printers in pop-up restaurants in Europe. The media have also reported on the potential for 3-D printing to cater for astronauts, air travellers and people in emergency situations. Nursing homes in Europe are offering 3-D printed food with jelly-like texture for residents with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Developers of 3-D food printers claim that people will soon have these devices in their kitchens, helping them prepare tasty and healthy foods at home. But that's not all. There's also the radical idea of using insects and laboratory-grown meat in 3-D printed food as a sustainable alternative to traditional protein sources. Meat and Livestock Australia also recently announced that it is looking into ways to use 3-D printing to produce new meat products to extract the most value from animal carcasses. So it is not far-fetched to imagine serving a Christmas lunch with 3-D printed food made from red meat and poultry, or decorative edible items made from fruit or vegetable purees, sugar or chocolate. But would you eat it? What do you think about 3-D printed food? Would you try it, or offer it to family members or guests? Despite industry enthusiasm and investment in research and development, few studies have actually asked these questions of consumers. To investigate these issues, we conducted our own research with 30 Australians, using an online focus group. The results highlight some interesting complications in the way many people perceive 3-D printed foods, and what might tempt them to try some. First of all, we found that none of the participants had heard of using 3-D printing technology to make food products. As 3-D printing technologies were usually associated with inedible objects made from substances such as plastic, plaster or metal, it was difficult for our participants to understand how they might work with foodstuffs. They were initially incredulous that this technology could be used for making food and couldn't imagine what kinds of foods would be produced. This manner of food processing was viewed as highly unnatural, with several assuming that the resulting food would be somehow "plastic" and therefore inedible. Our participants were far more positive about 3-D printed carrots, pasta, pizza, chocolate and a meal with chicken and vegetables (made from "real" whole food purees) than they were about 3-D printed sugar confections, meat and food made from food waste and alternative food sources such as algae and insects. Cultural beliefs about what kinds of matter are considered tasty and appropriate to eat were central in our participants' responses. While substances such as insects and algae fit consumers' preferences for natural ingredients, these foods were considered disgusting by nearly all of the participants. They could not imagine eating them or serving them to others. These materials were considered to be inedible according to the cultural norms of our participants, no matter how they are prepared or processed. So it wasn't that they were 3-D printed per se, but what they were printed from that affected their attitude to the food. Those participants who had ethical misgivings about eating conventionally grown meat liked the idea of 3-D printed meat products. But most of the participants considered the process to be a little too much like "Frankenfood", particularly if it involved using laboratory-cultured meat. Here it was the process of making the ingredient that was considered "unnatural". Many participants' lack of familiarity with the 3-D printing process underpinned their reservations about the safety of using food materials that would otherwise be discarded as waste. They were unsure about how the risks of food contamination and preservation would be dealt with. Many of them also considered the healthiness of foods to be an important factor. Our participants had no problem viewing 3-D printed sugar confections, pizza or chocolate as potentially edible. But they did express concern about the healthiness of these foods, given their ingredients and current status as junk food. So, if our results can be generalised to the broader population, it seems many people are interested in novel food products. They will try them if they can be assured of their edibility, healthiness and safety, and have an understanding of how these products are processed and what they are made from. But our study shows that those wishing to promote 3-D printed food might have several challenges on their hands. First of all, they may need to familiarise the public with how this process works and reassure them that it is safe. Then they might need to emphasise that 3-D printed food is tasty, even if it looks unusual or is made from ingredients that are not normally considered edible by cultural standards. Only then might consumers consider the possibility of including 3-D printed food as part of their lives, including at the Christmas lunch table. Explore further: 3-D printing aims to rewrite the script on cooking and tech

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