With the aim of improving the confidence of buyers on New Zealand’s meat, AgResearch will be developing a meat quality sensor that can determine texture and fat content, etc. $4.25 million is received from the Ministry of Business to fund the research, Innovation and Enterprise’s Endeavour Round announced. The research project is projected to take five years and would develop a new measurement system for identification of structural, compositional as well as functional properties of meat products while they are still at the point of processing.
Dr. Craigie said that New Zealand is unique because the stock on pasture is rising greatly. “This point of difference gives our export meat an eating quality advantage that consumers are willing to pay extra for.” He also said that their aim is to make it easier for consumers to recognize and appreciate New Zealand meat products. “That depends on being able to measure the quality and prove those measurements are meaningful.”
With the invention, New Zealand meat products marketer can now give buyers more thorough information about the product they are buying. The information will be displayed on the packaging of the meat products. New Zealand producers will also greatly benefit from this invention, as they will be able to collect information on a regular basis. This information will be used in studying the connection between meat product quality and value and farm management decisions. The consumer would know the textural profile or the intramuscular fat of the meat product on its packaging. This would assure the buyer that the meat tastes good, according to Dr. Craigie.
AgResearch will be developing the sensor together with the New Zealand Meat Industry and Dood-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies. Also part of the project are the Callaghan Innovation, University of Auckland and Otago researchers, KU Leuven (Belgium) and Scott Technology Ltd. New Zealand is expected to reap the financial benefits of the project. With reliable measurement data from the sensor, the farmer can now offer a worthy price for his high quality meat. The processors could also sell their product at a higher price because of the proven quality of the meat.
More information can be found at: AgResearch.