The sheepmeat industry has taken major steps forward towards delivering a meat quality grading system that can cater for individual animal assessment, thanks to the combination of results from a series of research projects.
The current Meat Standards Australia (MSA) for sheepmeat is an internationally accepted model which underpins the prediction of eating quality based on optimising the critical control points along the supply chain. It is based on proven meat science principals that have been tuned to the Australian industry using sensory protocols for evaluating consumers.
While that method is still valid, the industry has been working towards Mark II of the MSA model to add greater precision to the eating quality predictions and to enhance on-farm practices to improve the end product delivered to consumers.
Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) meat quality program leader, Prof. Dave Pethick, said that while Lamb MSA Mark II was still some way off, the goal was now in sight.
“An enhanced MSA prediction could be constructed which builds on the existing system, as we now have new data available that allows us to capture much of the variation in eating quality,” Prof. Pethick said. “The next challenge is to assess these factors at line speed in an abattoir.”
The Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC), operates as part of the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s CRC program. It is a collaboration of more than 40 organisations from across industry, government and the commercial sector, and includes producer groups, farm advisers, universities and research organ...
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