Dr Lindsay Hamilton
The York Management School, University of York, UK
Prof. Zygmunt Pejsak
University Centre of Veterinary Medicine JU -AU, Krakow, Poland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.