09:15-09:45
Opening Ceremony
09:45-10:30
Session:Innovations in animal production
Animal production is an important aspect of the influence of animal handling on meat quality and has been well-known for many years. And yet, improvements may always be made, and many problems solved.  This session will cover innovative solutions and new findings related to animal production. Topics include animal breeding and nutrition, animal genetics and genomics, automation in animal production and novel methods of production.
09:45-10:30
Applied genomics in meat science: where we are and where we may go
Luca Fontanesi (Italy)
10:30-11:00
Coffee break
11:00-12:30
Session:Animal welfare vs human welfare
Healthy animals equal better meat products. Although this might sound simple, maintaining animal health throughout its life is not a simple task.  There is an ongoing discussion whether humans have the right to kill animals, and if we do - how animals should be treated. Various solutions have been proposed for maintenance and slaughterhouses depending on animal species. There is still much to be improved. Animal conditions, disease treatment, a compromise between profits as well as animal welfare and many other related aspects will be discussed in this session.However, there are people working with animals: on farms and in slaughterhouses. At times, it is difficult to comprehend their behaviour. Is there any way to change negative attitudes? Should we concentrate more on human psychology and training, which could be translated to human actions?
11:00-11:45
Secrecy, silence and denial? Challenging the stigma of "dirty work" in the meat industry
Lindsay Hamilton (United Kingdom)
Secrecy, silence and denial? Challenging the stigma of 'dirty work' in the meat industry

Dr Lindsay Hamilton
The York Management School, University of York, UK

Meat work has often been tainted with the label of 'dirty work'. Those who work in slaughtering and production are sometimes critiqued as unemotional and even violent workers who engage in mass-scale 'killing'.  The stigma facing those who work in this industry has been exacerbated by factors such as low pay, repetitive and mechanical tasks, short term and agency contracts which have further 'dehumanised' the labour process. Recent years have been especially difficult for those employed in the meat industry as outbreaks of covid-19 have been publicized across Europe, and widely linked to working and living conditions. Union spokespeople often claim that fear of redundancy prevents meat workers from voicing their concerns about such factors. All this emerges against a backdrop of upheaval in Europe, as the regulation of the import and export of animal products is creating new tasks and requirements for processing plants. Rather than setting out the considerable challenges facing the meat industry as a commercial sector, however, this presentation seeks to explore some of the pressures and tensions in the lived experience of meat workers, and sets them into context against the backdrop of increasingly polarised contemporary debates within food and business ethics. The taint of 'dirty work' is powerful, not least because for many consumers the act of slaughter is unpalatable but I argue that it can be challenged - to the benefit of meat workers - by reducing the secrecy and silence surrounding meat production.
11:45-12:30
Influence of African Swine Fever on pig and pork production in Poland and Europe
Zygmunt Pejsak (Poland)
Influence of African Swine Fever on pig and pork production in Poland and Europe

Prof. Zygmunt Pejsak
University Centre of Veterinary Medicine JU -AU, Krakow, Poland

Currently, African swine fever (ASF) represents the most important swine epizootics in Europe, Russia, and Asia. This disease has a significant impact on the profitability of pig production, triggered mainly by restrictions influencing the international trade in animals and meat of pork origin. ASF has been officially controlled and compulsorily notifiable by the International Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Europe is a second largest pork producer with over 186 millions of swine. The proportion of world meat consumption equals to 40% of pork, 29% of chicken, 24% of beef, and 7% of other species. Therefore, the factors influencing production, profitability, and sustainability – like ASF are of crucial importance in providing the sufficient work outcome to the local and international markets.
The observed fluctuation in the number of produced pigs, in several countries is related to the lack of profit in production, during last 7 years mainly due to the occurrence of ASF. Considering the influence of ASF in European countries, pork production was surprisingly maintained at a constant level and reached 22,847 thousand tones in 2016 and over 23,175 thousand tones in 2020. The most noticeable decrease in pork production has been identified in Germany and reached 4.2% in comparison between 2016 and 2020. The more considerable impact of ASF epizootics has been observed temporarily in China, where production at the same reporting period decreased by over 20%. The observed fluctuations in pig production are pointed out by the underestimation of factors related to ASF emergence in any region of the world. Since there is no effective vaccine against ASF, the only way to limit the influence of its emergence is the strict implementation of biosecurity measures at all levels and kinds of swine production. The limitations in profitability, in many countries are mainly caused by the lack of profit in swine production due to non - efficient production, among others, due to the occurrence of different infectious diseases, including ASF, or administrative procedures.
In conclusion, it might be stated that in spite of the ASF emergence in Eastern and Southern Europe international fluctuations in pig production are not as high as we expected.
12:30-14:00
Lunch
14:00-15:30
Flash to every previous session-parallel
In each flash session 6-7 minutes - 20-17 speakers
15:30-16:00
Coffee break
16:00-17:15
Session: Animal Tissue Biology
Basic studies on muscle tissue biology are the foundation for understanding and the ability to manipulate all aspects of meat quality. Despite decades of research on the topic and dozens of milestone discoveries, there is still so much to be learnt. Modern analytic tools allow to determine more. Due to many changes in animal production, some of the basics have changed and it is sometimes difficult to apply already-known knowledge about tissues. The topics covered in this session include all new studies related to the biology of animal tissues, whether it be muscle, blood or tendon tissue. Novel findings related to animal tissues of various origins such as slaughter animals, game, fish, sea food and insects, will be discussed in this section.
16:00-16:45
Insights on meat quality from combining traditional studies and proteomics
Peter Purslow (Argentina)
Insights on meat quality from combining traditional studies and proteomics

Prof. Peter Purslow
Tandil Centre for Veterinary Investigation (CIVETAN), National University of Central Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

A century of research into meat qualities such as water-holding, colour and tenderness has yielded a broad understanding of the major structural and molecular mechanisms affecting variations in these properties. In the twenty-first century, the emphasis of research has shifted towards understanding the interactions of multiple factors affecting meat quality.

Research into the effects of complex and interactive factors is increasingly being based on data-driven approaches such as transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. This presentation uses two recent proteomics meta-analyses on beef colour and tenderness to demonstrate how data-driven approaches can extend our understanding of the mechanisms and factors underlying variations in these meat qualities. This highlights the role of postmortem energy metabolism in setting the conditions for development of meat colour and tenderness. A pattern of interplay between pathways of calcium regulation, energy metabolism, and mitochondrial metabolism can also be discerned from the complex data.

We also examine why proteomics seems to overlook some sources of variations in beef toughness, and examine the difference between hypothesis-driven and data driven approaches. We conclude be emphasising that post-hoc explanations from data-driven studies of why certain proteins are biomarkers of beef quality using proteomics need to be tested and confirmed confirmation by further hypothesis-driven experimental studies.

16:45-17:15
Dark-cutting beef: a glance on the first repertoire of biomarkers and an integromics meta-analysis at the proteome level to decipher the underlying pathways
Mohammed Gagaoua (Ireland)
Dark-cutting beef: a glance on the first repertoire of biomarkers and an integromics meta-analysis at the proteome level to decipher the underlying pathways

Mohammed Gagaoua, PhD
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland

Comprehensive characterization of the post-mortem muscle proteome defines a fundamental goal in meat proteomics. During the last decade, proteomic tools have been applied in the field of foodomics to help decipher factors underpinning meat quality variations and to enlighten us, through data-driven methods, on the underlying mechanisms leading to meat quality defects such as dark-cutting meat known also as Dark, Firm and Dry (DFD) meat. In cattle, several proteomics studies have focused on the extent to which changes in the post-mortem muscle proteome relate to dark-cutting beef development. The present data-mining study firstly reviews proteomics studies which investigated dark-cutting beef, and secondly, gathers the protein biomarkers that differ between dark-cutting versus beef with normal-pH in a unique repertoire. A list of 130 proteins from eight eligible studies was curated and mined through bioinformatics for Gene Ontology annotations, molecular pathways enrichments, secretome analysis and biological pathways comparisons to normal beef color from a previous meta-analysis. The major biological pathways underpinning dark-cutting beef at the proteome level have been described and deeply discussed. This integromics meta-analysis of publicly available proteomics data revealed strong disparity among dark-cutting beef studies. In this article, we further reviewed the main causes of dark-cutting beef, the effect of high pH on the color of meat, and the new insights of muscle biology on dark-cutting beef.

17:15-17:45
Short presentations

09:00-10:30
Session:Nutritional quality of meat, meat analogues and the available alternatives
The role of meat in human nutrition seems to be indisputable. However, it began to be under strict debate. On the one hand, meat is known as one of the best sources of many different nutrients and is one of the essential products in human diet, with many researchers implicating problems related to meat consumption avoidance. On the other, there is a growing number of research marking meat consumption as potentially hazardous. This session will include novel findings related to both sides of this debate.
There is a growing interest in meat avoidance. The search for alternatives of meat products are diverse does not change the fact that new alternatives are being sought out and demanded by the consumers. Congress will cover new findings and insights regarding meat alternatives from other animal sources, such as insects, and from sources of plant origin. This will include improved or novel processing methods, nutritional quality, safety and absorption aspects or comparison between meat and its analogues.
09:00-09:45
Roger Clemens (USA) lecture
09:45-10:30
Bioactivities generated from meat proteins by enzymatic hydrolysis and the Maillard reaction
Keizo Arihara (Japan)
10:30-11:00
Coffee break
11:00-12:30
Debate:The future role of meat science in underpinning a global sustainable meat sector for benefit to society while accelerating innovation
The topics, which will be discussed:
  • Global challenges facing meat scientists and the industry
  • Actions that can mitigate these challenges
  • Delivering the knowledge that already exists
  • Successful models in place.
  • Future leadership in meat science and meat industry
  • The next steps for the organisation of a global initiative
  • The role of ICoMST in supporting this initiative
12:30-14:00
Lunch
14:00-15:00
Poster session
15:00-15:30
Flash to every previous session-parallel
In each flash session 6-7 minutes - 10-8 speakers
15:30-16:00
Coffee break
16:00-17:30
Session:Sustainability in meat processing-waste management and pet food production
The meat industry is generating a huge amount of by-products, which are underutilised and waste. This needs to be addressed and handled. However, as it has been demonstrated in recent studies, many of those by-products can be revalorised and reused as a valuable source of many ingredients for which there is an increased demand. The topics covered in this session will include waste revalorisation and management, sustainability and economic viability, the use of novel technologies for waste removal and purification as well as obtaining new ingredients from waste materials. An example of by-products/waste utilisation is pet food production. Pet food is becoming one of the most important branches of the food industry. There is an increasing trend among consumers to treat pet animals more as family members than just companions. This is related, among others, to the high quality pet food purchased. Currently, consumers trends towards pet food are undergoing a similar revolution as observed in the remaining of the meat processing industry. Consumers read food labels, become more interested and demanding. There is also a growing interest in functional pet food products. All of this results in yields of research and novel findings in the given field. The topics covered in this session include improvements in pet food processing, nutritional quality of by-products, functional pet foods, novel palatants and other topics related to pet food production.
16:00-16:45
Management of meat by-products for an improved meat processing sustainability
Fidel Toldra (Spain)
Management of meat by-products for an improved meat processing sustainability

Prof. Fidel Toldra
Instituto de Agroquimica y Technologia de Alimientos, Spain

Large amounts of meat by-products such as bones, meat trimmings, skin, fatty tissues, horns, hoofs, feet, skull and blood, among other, are generated during slaughtering and meat processing, and must be treated and disposed ecologically. Innovative developments are being performed to give added-value to such by-products and therefore reduce its handling and disposal costs. Proteins and fats obtained through rendering of meat by-products have a wide variety of applications. Some proteins have relevant technological uses for gelation, foaming and emulsification while protein hydrolyzates may contribute to a better digestibility and palatability. Protein hydrolysis also generate added-value products such as bioactive peptides with relevant physiological effects of interest for applications in the food, pet food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. Inedible fats are increasingly used as raw material for the generation of biodiesel. Other applications are focused on the development of new biodegradable plastics that can constitute an alternative to petroleum-based plastics; for instance, by using proteins and fat as raw materials for the production of thermoplastics and polyhydroxyalkanoates, respectively. This paper reviews the latest developments and trends for the valorization of meat by-products as a way to make meat production more sustainable.

16:45-17:30
Aurelie de Ratuld (France) lecture

Technical Tours

09:00-12:30
Session:Meat Processing: from food additives and process optimization to robotics and automation. Emerging technologies in meat processing
This session will cover a broad spectrum of findings related to meat processing. The topics cover a range from problems and improvements connected with single processing steps, leading onto an overall discussion about the meat industry in relation to the Industry 4.0 framework. The research discussed during this session includes new processing methods, food additives and packaging, processing challenges, robotics and automation, the role of management in quality improvement, smart factories and further aspects related to meat processing.
New technologies for food safety and processing are emerging, while existing ones are constantly being re-developed. The rate of advancement tends to be rapid, thus it is important to follow recent progress in this field. The session topic includes a whole range of modern and emerging technologies in meat processing including, but not limited to, recent advancements in nanotechnology, minimal processing technologies, non-thermal preservation, innovations in packaging. Whether your interests are related to cold plasma, UV, ultrasounds, nanoparticles or biopolymer coatings – this session comprises it all.
09:00-09:45
Jose Maria Lagaron (Spain) lecture
09:45-10:30
Jamshed Iqbal (United Kingdom) lecture
10:30-11:00
Coffee break
11:00-11:45
Peter Fischer (Switzerland) lecture
11:45-12:15
Mario Estavez (Spain) lecture
12:15-12:30
Short presentation
12:30-14:00
Lunch
14:00-15:00
Poster session
15:00-15:30
Flash to every previous session-parallel
In each flash session 6-7 minutes - 10-8 speakers
15:30-16:00
Coffee break
16:00-17:00
Session:Safety and authenticity in meat production
Food safety has always been one of the main concerns of the food industry. To maintain the safety of produced foods we have developed a number of new technologies and control systems which have allowed to drastically improve safety for the consumer. However, when past challenges are overtaken, new ones are always ahead. An example is the emergence of the current COVID-19 pandemic, during which many new protocols and safety measures had to be implemented in order to maintain not only safety of the final consumer, but also to maintain the food supply production chain. Can the meat industry and policymakers prepare themselves for similar situations in the future? Can procedures and systems protect the industry and consumers against bioterrorism? Topics associated with meat safety such as microbiology, allergens, risk analysis, shelf-life, packaging, etc. will be discussed during this session.
Authenticity problems, fraudulence and unfair practices are encountered within the meat industry. This includes various topics: from the accidental addition of undesired or illegal ingredients, to illegal labelling ending with conscious fraudulence of halal or kosher meat products. This session will also cover findings related to innovative monitoring and analysis, incidence reports and preventive measures against fraud.
16:00-16:45
The Covid-19 pandemic and meat supply chains
Jill Hobbs (Canada)
The Covid-19 pandemic and meat supply chains

Prof. Jill Hobbs
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended societies, economic activity, and business environments. With a focus on the meat processing sector, the presentation considers the short, medium, and potential long-term implications of the pandemic for food supply chains. A series of short-run demand and supply shocks affected the food system. The pandemic has generated a lively discourse around the adaptability and resilience of food supply chains in the medium to longer term. Scale and scope economies in meat processing offer significant cost and efficiency advantages, while a more dispersed industry structure can be more flexible. The pandemic is likely to accelerate the adoption of automation and digitalization within food supply chains. The Covid-19 pandemic also focused consumer attention on the food system and the nature of food supply chains. Consumers’ underlying food values may shape their response to uncertainty during a pandemic. The pandemic offers lessons for the food industry in proactively identifying and addressing points of vulnerability within supply chains.

16:45-17:45
Short presentations

09:00-10:30
Session:Traditional meat products
Traditional meat products are valued by customers in every country. The unique character of each region influences the quality of products, which are cultural heritage of each nation. With evolving globalisation, there is a tendency to export this heritage to other countries. Due to that, traditional meat products require special packaging and extended shelf-life. The traditional character of meat products is related to recipes and/or technology. However, some of those products are manufactured using modern technologies which change these products. At the same time, it is possible to obtain greater production batches or healthier products, e.g. with decreased PAHs levels. Consumer attitudes versus modern-traditional products is also an interesting aspect of those changes. The abovementioned topics and others related to traditional meat products will be discussed in this session.
09:00-09:45
Fermented Meat Products and the Challenge of Their Plant-Based Alternatives: A Comparative Review on Aroma-Related Aspects
Monica Flores (Spain)
Fermented Meat Products and the Challenge of Their Plant-Based Alternatives: A Comparative Review on Aroma-Related Aspects

Prof. Monica Flores
Department of Food Science and Technology, the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA) of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Valencia, Spain

Traditional fermented meat products are produced around the world due to their convenience and sensory characteristics. Their high acceptability is based on their sensory properties and specially the aroma. They constitute a cultural heritage as seen by the high diversity of products around the world. Recent trends are addressing issues regarding innovation in their formulation by reduction of salt, fat and additives (curing salts). However, the current trend towards a reduction in the consumption of meat products has produced an increase in the formulation of meat product analogues. This trend is the main focus of producers to offer new attractive products to consumers even though the aroma profile of traditional fermented meat products is not reached. In this presentation, the chemistry of aroma formation in traditional fermented meat products in contrast to the potential ability of plant used in meat analogues is presented.

09:45-10:30
Does traditionality equal quality? An example of European meat products
Michał Halagarda (Poland) lecture
Does traditionality equal quality? An example of European meat products

Michał Halagarda, PhD
Department of Food Commodity Science, Cracow University of Economics, Poland

Meat and meat products are very popular among consumers. They are willingly consumed due to their organoleptic characteristics as well as a common opinion of high nutritional value. Since people nowadays pay more attention to the organoleptic characteristics of consumed foods and also to the general well-being, an increased interest in traditional foods has been observed. Such products have unique characteristics, which they owe to the use of local animals breeds that are mostly fed with traditional forage, old varieties of plants, as well as in most of the cases, natural ingredients. They are also believed to be a healthier alternative to conventional equivalents.

The aim of the study was to analyze the nutritional value, factors affecting quality and health safety of traditional European meat products on the basis of available literature.

The results show that due to the fact that there are many varieties of traditional meat products of different recipes and different processing conditions, not only their organoleptic characteristics is significantly different but also their nutritional value. Reports also indicate that there are some discrepancies which can be attributed to product character (traditional/conventional). They mainly concern the content of moisture, protein, salt and fat, and fatty acid profile. Moreover, research suggests that traditional meat products may also be associated with some health safety issues, such as the presence of pathogens, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrate and nitrite residues, N-nitrosamines, biogenic amines and heavy metals. There are also some issues with uniformity of traditional meat products. Products of the same name may differ substantially considering nutritional value and organoleptic characteristics.

Therefore, some actions can be initialized to provide assurance of high quality and uniformity of traditional meat products without compromising their uniqueness. The use of the starter cultures isolated from traditional meat products might be the most effective strategy for reducing biogenic amine content. Reducing the amount of initially added nitrate and/or adding a reducing substance to assure the conversion of nitrite into nitric oxide will help to prevent N-nitrosamine formation. More strict hygienic procedures should limit contamination of products with pathogenic microorganisms. More control over technological procedures as well as greater attention to the quality of raw materials should result in more uniformity and limit presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and and biogenic amines.

10:30-11:00
Coffee break
11:00-12:30
Session:Consumer trends and food waste reduction
Changes occurring in consumer trends are rapid. The new way the world is organised, with consumers all over the world connected via the Internet and the growing role of “influencers” on social media, forces the meat industry to adapt to the changing and innovate demands of a modern consumer. These trends include clean label, ecological and sustainable food production, concerns about environmental aspects, food technology neophobia, new trends arising at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and others. One of the most significant arising trends is avoidance of food waste reduction, which is one of the greatest problems, but, at the same time, the biggest opportunities for the food industry. The reduction of wasted food can have huge impact on the environment, but also on the economic situation of food operators and will constitute a platform to discussion in this session.
11:00-11:45
Meat food waste in the UK households: Using discrete event simulation to provide an evidence base for reducing global food waste
Christian Reynolds (United Kingdom)
11:45-12:15
Ben Holman (Australia) lecture
12:15-12:30
Short presentation
12:30-12:45
Closing ceremony

Honorary Patronage of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development


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