La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560


Environmental impact of high pressure treatment for the preservation of cooked ham

Within the framework of the ANR BlacHP project, a new stabilization process for reduced nitrite meat products has been developed. The objective of this study was to assess the environmental impact of the life cycle of cooked ham treated with a combination of biopreservation by lactic bacteria and high pressure treatment, and compare it to a conventional cooked ham. The results of the life cycle assessment of the ham show that the introduction of high pressure and biopreservation has no significant additional environmental impact.

Combined use of biopreservation and high pressure to ensure the microbiological safety of refrigerated meat products

Within the framework of the ANR BlacHP project, the effectiveness of a protective culture combined to a high-pressure treatment selected following laboratory scale tests was evaluated under industrial conditions. First, the implantation of the protective culture concomitant with the control of a pathogenic flora (Listeria monocytogenes) or spoiled psychrophilic spore-forming flora was validated in the cooked ham using the challenge-test methodology. In parallel, absence of organoleptic modifications of the product treated by the combined process was checked. In a second step, the developed process was successfully transferred to three other meat products, ensuring microbiological quality and safety over their entire microbiological shelf life.

High Pressure Processing combined with biopreservation: impact on cured ham characteristics

BLacHP project (ANR-14-CE20-0004) aims to develop a strategy to stabilize meat products with reduced nitrite content; experiments were carried out on cooked ham with 25 ppm of nitrites. The strategy adopted the combination of two hurdle technologies: biopreservation by Lactococcus lactis and high pressure processing (500 MPa, 5 min).
The combined treatment has moderate impact on the technological parameters of the cooked ham (water retention, exudation, texture, color). The evaluation of oxidation products shows that the combined treatment induces a low oxidation of lipids and proteins during refrigerated storage. Moreover, the use of the combined treatment increases the protein digestion rate. Then, biopreservation combined with high pressure processing makes possible to maintain the quality of reduced nitrite content cooked ham close to that of traditional cooked ham, and ensures its sanitary safety.

Use of bacterial consortia or complex microbiota as a model for understanding microbial interactions in meat products: advantages and limitations.

The microbiological study of food is limited because of the variability between samples (species diversity and abundance) and the presence of unknown or yet non cultivated bacteria. Two approaches exist to circumvent this. One constitutes strain cocktails from pure cultures in simplified food models that enable mathematical modeling. The second collects natural food microbiota without a prior culture step. For this, modeling is more difficult but microbiota are reproducible and closer to the food reality. The complementarity of these two approaches is discussed.

Stabilization of bacterial contaminants in cooked hams after high-pressure treatment and addition of a protective culture

Bacterial communities present on diced cooked ham were characterized. They were dominated either by Firmicutes or by proteobacteria, with some species that have not yet been cultivated. Their dynamics after high-pressure treatment and addition of a protective culture was monitored. Although each bacterial community reacts differently to the treatments, the combination of high pressure and biopreservation indeed stabilizes the product with overgrowth of the protective culture.

Presentation of the project BLacHP (2015-2019)

Refrigerated meat products are perishables with a reduced storage life. In addition, vacuum-packed storage or with a modified atmosphere at refrigerated temperatures may provide a selective advantage to the development of psychotrophic sporulating bacteria from the Bacillus and Clostridium genera. Thus, preservatives, such as nitrites, are often necessary to ensure the safety of refrigerated products with low acidity during their storage life. Pressure by society to reduce chemical inputs in ready-to-eat food products is behind the BLac HP project whose aim is to develop a new strategy for the stabilization of refrigerated transformed meat products by combining high pressure (HP) and biopreservation with lactic bacteria. Using a multidisciplinary approach, our work has allowed the study of a combination of processes on several levels: cell, psychrophic spore species from Bacillus and Clostridium genera selected for a project and on the ecosystem scale. The dynamic response of microbial ecosystems to the processes was explored using molecular biology methods. At the same time, the effect of the processes on nutritional, technological and organoleptic properties of ham cubes was also evaluated. In addition, the environmental and societal impacts of the combination of the processes were evaluated in comparison with a conventional process for cooked ham. Finally, scaling up and transposition to other products have been considered.

Vacuum-packed meats: are the microbiological indicators reliable

Over the years, the bovine meat sector has seen atypical types of preservation means amongst vacuum-packed products (muscles and meat). Indeed, there has been an over-develoment of enterobacteria, an insufficient development of the bio-protective lactic flora, and even both problems without the meat and muscles showing any sensorial alterations. In order to understand this phenomenon and to help the sector avoid it, the French Livestock Institute in partnership with the Caen Normandy University, has led a study on the identification of microbial flora identified during the analysis of ready-to-cut muscle contamination and pieces of precut vacuum-packed meats after ageing under controlled conditions. The results obtained showed that in cases of atypical preservation, with reference methods, when the compliance threshold of the “enterobacteria” criteria is exceeded, it is the over-develoment of enterobacteria and notably the Hafnia alvei species that is responsible. However, the apparent under-development of lactic flora was caused by the exclusion of lactic bacteria of the genus Carnobacterium sp. and Lactococcus sp., causing an under-estimation of the real amounts of lactic flora present. This study has therefore provided evidence that a whole part of meats and muscles conditioned and preserved with vacuum-packed packaging is excluded from the marketing channels due to an error in the reference method that quantifies the lactic bacteria, therefore inducing an under-estimation of this compliance criterion for meat products. In order to remedy this problem, the French Breeding Institute and Interbev are working to develop alternative methods for the more precise evaluation of lactic bacteria present on the surface of meats.

Biochemical characterization of coproducts from slaughterhouses for their economic valorization

The valorization of coproducts is an economic question since most French slaughterhouses depend on the purchase price or the cost of removal that collection companies (foundries, rendering plants) apply without really having knowledge of the economic potential of valorized products. Animal by-products (ABP) which are not destined for human consumption, are used in several industrial branches (petfoods and oleochemistry mainly). They are transformed according to their category C1 or C2/C3 respectively as transformed animal proteins (TAP) or flour and as fats. The challenge is to allow slaughterhouses to valorize each ABP at an appropriate price, which will depend on the protein and fat contents and the capacity to extract them from flours/TAP and fats respectively. The INTERBEV interprofession ordered this study in order to initiate the construction of the first database for biochemical composition (proteins, lipids and dry matter) of 48 coproducts from large cattle, calves and sheep sampled in four French slaughterhouses. These data are the first available and will help build the first French reference table. Several studies today are exploring innovative ways of generating products with higher-value for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and energy markets. The perspectives are to pursue acquiring data for the characterization of the added-value of each ABP or bioactive components whether they concern functional, nutritional or health properties.

Concentrate feeding and feed ingredients for growing-finishing.

Small improvements in feed efficiency, especially during indoor ‘winter’ feeding periods, can have a relatively large influence on farm profitability. Increasing the level of concentrates in the diet reduces forage intake and increases live weight and carcass weight gains, although at a decreasing rate. Subsequent compensatory growth at pasture diminishes the advantage of concentrate supplementation of young cattle. High digestibility grass silage with moderate concentrate supplementation can sustain a large proportion of the cattle performance achieved on high-concentrate diets. Feeding management is more important when feeding concentrates ad libitum than as a supplement. The relative nutritive (and economic) value of by-product feed ingredients depends on their inclusion level in the ration, and the amount of concentrates fed.

Perception of camel meat by the consumer

This article describes the consumption trends of camel meat in two regions from the South of Algeria, where breeding and consumption of camel meat products is a tradition. This analysis was conducted at the camel meat transformation and perception levels of the sector. In the survey presented here, an inventory of slaughtering and the perception of camel meat by the consumer from the southern regions of Algeria was performed.

An open access review of the impacts and services provided by European livestock farming

Since the publication of the FAO report ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow’ in 2006, livestock production and the consumption of animal products have received particular attention in the news and scientific media. As a result of the increasing demand for meat, milk and eggs at a global scale, livestock farming faces unprecedented pressures to alleviate its negative impacts on the environment. This book summarizes the Inra collective scientific assessment report on the role, impacts and services provided by European livestock production, that was requested by the French ministries responsible for Agriculture and the Environment, in collaboration with the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).

Using sensorial typology to develop a reference grid for following the superior quality of “Tendre Agneau” Label Rouge lamb meat

Label Rouge foods have a higher level of sensory properties compared to other similar (unlabeled) marketed products. When assessing these qualities for Label Rouge meat, the selection of animals is very important. Indeed, different intrinsic factors (breed, sex, inter-animal variability…) as well as extrinsic factors (season, feeding, rearing conditions, animal handling…) affect the sensory qualities of meat. The objective of this study was to investigate a sensory clustering of the Label Rouge meat « Tendre Agneau ». Subsequently, a sensory reference grid was developed to identify the key attributes of superior quality of Label Rouge meat in order to meet the requirements defined by INAO.

Should we reduce our consumption of meat?

Due to concerns about health, animal welfare or, more broadly, about the sustainability of our planet, many of our contemporaries are wondering about our Western lifestyle, and especially about our meat consumption. Livestock has impacts but also provides services for the environment and territories. Animal welfare is a major issue. This report of INRA published on the website of the Institute clarifies the benefits and limits of meat consumption. It is enriched with figures and infographics available on the INRA website to better understand these issues (

Social aspects of meat consumption

The decrease in meat consumption is a structural phenomenon with multifactorial causes. Consumer surveys show that the realities are contrasted and sometimes paradoxical, highlighted by important generational facts. Many socio-cultural determinants influence the behavior of consumers. They concern religious practices, cultural norms, the evolution of gender and standards of living, the impact of contemporary sensitivities and modern ideologies or the role of lobbying and stakeholders. Since the 1990s, practices by breeders have evolved, taking into consideration society’s requests with tangible results. Yet distrust persists requiring increased and improved communication while continuing to adapt with diversified models that are competitive and sustainable. The “sectors plans” are aimed at meeting new challenges.

Perception of sheep meat by the consumer of the region of Tiaret in Algeria

This article aims to analyze the perception of sheep meat by Algerian consumers according to their socio-demographic profiles. Semi-direct surveys were conducted among 102 consumers from four different age groups. The study was conducted in an Algerian region of sheep farming tradition and tradition of meat consumption of this species. The results show that color, tenderness, flavor, and price are the most important criteria for the consumer. The results also indicate a great deal of interest in the fat content. The development of a modern sector should be encouraged to better meet the expectations and preferences of consumers, taking into account the rapid change in consumer habits.

Research at INTERBEV: at the service of its approach to social responsibility

This new interprofessional event entitled « Les Matinales de la Recherche d’INTERBEV » was aimed at placing science and technology in the spotlight with a desire to share and disseminate the interprofession’s research. For this first meeting, a strategic and federating theme was voted: research at INTERBEV, at the service of its approach to social responsibility (PACTE). The results and perspectives of INTERBEV studies in Research and Development and studies on the economy of the bovine sector and the sociology of consuming were presented. A round table discussion gathering professionals of the sector focused on the place of research at INTERBEV for an engagement and improvement of its approach to social responsibility.

News: Is animalism an anti-humanism?

Both the phenomenon of development of pets (almost considered as being equal to man) and the excesses of intensive breeding have favored the extension of the animalist movement, which sometimes derives towards activism. According to the author, the audience of the animalist movement that has great influence on society and deciders, is prejudicial to the human species. This reasoning shared by many other authors is complemented here by a more controversial position: the concept of “animal welfare”, a subject of many interpretations, would support the animalist cause. The author also reviews other distinctions that are dear to him: we should consider animals and not one animal, we should better balance things between rationality and emotions, between “ethics of conviction” and “ethics of responsibility”, etc. Despite the fact that the author relies on the collective scientific strategy to support his reasoning (and thus to sweep away the received ideas), he does not hesitate to criticize its orientations (concerning in particular the study of animal welfare). While recognizing the need to protect animals, the author takes a position while trying to prove that animalism is contrary to the interest of humanity and therefore anti-humanist. His concluding argument states that the growing force of the animalist movement can be explained by contradictions of human nature and a mixture of science and moral, or emotions and rationality.

Major results of beef production in Australia

Australia has developed for about 20 years the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading scheme to predict beef eating quality and hence better satisfy beef consumers. More than 3.1 million cattle were processed through MSA pathways in 2017-18. The cattle presented for MSA grading accounted for 43% of the national adult cattle slaughter and 94.3% of cattle presented for grading met MSA minimum requirements. The Meat Livestock Australia has also developed the MSA index, which indicates an eating quality potential at the whole carcass level. Since 2011, the average MSA Index has increased by roughly 1.5% from 2010-11 to 2016-17 to reach 57.78 in 2017-18. More than 5,000 meat producers became registered to supply livestock through the MSA program, and the average price differential between MSA and non-MSA carcasses from young cattle across all weight ranges (excluding accredited grainfed cattle) was $0.21/kg (and $0.13/kg for cattle that met grainfed accreditation standards). Thus, in the last year, it is estimated that the MSA program delivered an additional AUD$152 million in farm gate returns for beef producers in Australia.

Is there a possibility of meat tenderness protein-biomarkers on the horizon?

Over the years, meat scientists have shown that tenderness is the most important meat quality attribute that determine consumer satisfaction. The challenge of achieving consistency in meat tenderness is a thorn in the industry worldwide. This is mainly due to the amalgamation of many ante and post-mortem factors involved in the tenderisation process. Even though these factors are known and well-studied, there is still a lack of distinct tenderness biomarkers. Up to date, several studies proposed different biomolecules such as proteins as biomarkers for tenderness, but no single biomarker that fulfil the necessary requirements for a tenderness biomarker has been proposed. The lack of tenderness biomarkers is a threat to achieving consistency in meat tenderness grading worldwide.
This article has been translated and updated from « Is there a Possibility of Meat Tenderness Protein-Biomarkers on the Horizon? » published in International Journal of Agriculture Innovations and Research Volume 6, Issue 3, ISSN (Online) 2319-1473.

How Australia’s red meat industries has adopted eating quality science

In celebration of Meat Standards Australia’s (MSA) 20th anniversary, the 64th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) ran a special MSA session on Monday August 13th in Melbourne. The program covered the development of MSA through to its role in the modern marketplace and what the future holds for the world’s leading eating quality grading system. Leading researchers and industry practitioners presented a series of short papers, which are summarised below.

An inter-professional approach to co-elaborate a tool for beef cattle and dairy cattle farmers to assess animal welfare

An inter-professional approach for the co-development of a tool for the assessment of animal welfare for beef cattle and dairy cattle farmers
The beef and dairy cattle sectors - through their national organizations INTERBEV and CNIEL – have decided to work on common animal welfare indicators. This system will give breeders a basic tool in order to objectify and guarantee animal welfare and so provide reinsurance to consumers and citizens. Thanks to these tools, dairy cattle and beef cattle breeders will be able to assess their farm system, identify progresses, and reinforce them. This work is based on principles and definitions of OIE (World Organisation for Animal Welfare), and also on technical and scientific skills of steering committee members. Also, an indicators list has been co-constructed, taking into account their relevance and objectivity, for monitoring and improving animal welfare for dairy and beef cattle. It could be used as a diagnosis for breeders and breeding technicians. Considering the bibliography and interviews of breeders, each indicator has been declined as animal or environmental measures (as far as possible). The indicators concern animal comfort, injuries and illnesses, mortality, pain management and reproduction practices, animal feed, environmental conditions and human-animal relationship. This collective reference is totally integrated in the global strategy of dairy and beef cattle sectors, and is supported by consultations with their stakeholders. This system is likely to be improved thanks to new R&D activities. All the results will be used for a global process approach and reinsurance in animal welfare in France, for dairy and beef cattle.

Towards a new segmentation of French meat

Development plans have been written by food and agriculture inter-branch organisations at the request of the French government and as part of the French food forum (« Etats généraux de l’alimentation ») held in 2017. A vast majority of meat sector organizations notified their intention to raise the average quality of their production in order to differ from their competitors. They all committed to develop, sometimes considerably, the proportion of their meat products sold under official quality and origin labels such as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), Label Rouge or Organic farming (AB).

Modeling of multicriterion argument networks on the reduction of animal product consumption

In developed countries at the beginning of the 21st century, a second nutritional transition seems to have emerged with a tendency towards plant-based diets and a decrease in meat consumption. This transition suggests that logical arguments tend to influence individuals more and more towards vegetarian diets. This paper proposes a methodology for modeling a network of arguments around vegetarian diets using an abstract argumentation approach. Each argument, formalized by a node, is connected to the other arguments by arrows formalizing the attacks between them. Through this methodology, we have been able to formalize a network of arguments about vegetarian diets and identify the health arguments on which an emphasis must be made in comparison with those touching ethics or other types of arguments. This methodology also identified the key arguments because of their strong centrality by being attacked and attacking other arguments. These initial results from this network of arguments suggest that the controversies surrounding vegetarian diets could be polarized around these central arguments of health. Although ethical arguments appear to be of little importance in our network, the key question of the necessity of animal products for human health is probably decisive in the ethical choices towards vegetarian diets.

Inquiry on red meat consumption. A summary of consumer expectations and their perception of the new labelling system for self-service beef

Two consecutive studies were conducted on 625 beef consumers, with the aim of examining consumer habits concerning beef consumption (meat consumption and its evolution), and to find the reasons, which may explain the relative decline in interest in beef consumption. The surveys also aimed to explore consumers’ understanding of the new labelling system, which was introduced in France in 2015 to indicate the eating quality potential of cuts with stars.
It appears that half of the respondents have reduced their beef consumption, with an inconsistency in eating quality being one of the reasons to explain this decline. The results also showed that 70% of the respondents were not aware of the existence of the new labelling system for self-service beef. Nevertheless, this system represents a major progress for the French beef sector and should be developed further. Indeed, French consumers would be interested in a meat grading system based on tenderness like the one in Australia. Such a system could help to reduce the decline in beef consumption, and, even reverse this negative trend.

Incidence of storage temperature and water activity on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus in sliced dry cured ham packed under modified atmosphere

The danger of Staphylococcus aureus in sliced dry cured ham is controlled by water activity, salt content and storage temperature. However, new retailing channels involving storage at ambient temperature raise a sanitary question about the ability of S. aureus to grow on dry cured ham in those conditions. Indeed, aw values in dry cured ham are known to be very heterogeneous depending on muscular mass location, salt levels, dehydration and ageing duration and may not be sufficient to prevent S. aureus growth by itself. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different storage temperatures (20°C, 15°C and 8°C) on the behavior of S. aureus MW2 inoculated on sliced dry cured ham packed under modified atmosphere according to different aw values ranging from 0.89 to 0.96. Challenge-testing results were then used to predict the growth of S. aureus on slices of dry cured ham according to aw and storage temperature values. This study shows that, regardless of the aw values, no growth of S. aureus MW2 was observed at 8°C but the strain was able to grow at 20°C whatever the aw value. At 15°C, with an aw value greater than 0.94, staphylococcal population can reach up to 6.8 log10 CFU/g. This study involving both experimental and modelling approaches demonstrates that cold storage (below 8°C) is the most relevant hurdle for controlling the Staphylococcus aureus hazard in sliced dry cured ham under modified atmosphere.

Proteomics in Domestic Animals: from Farm to Systems Biology

In the last 20 years, the development of post genomics tools, such as proteomics, transcriptomics or metabolomics, has been immense, allowing important scientific advances in different areas of life sciences, including animal and veterinary sciences. This book, published in English by Springer ( focuses on proteomics and its use in farm animal research. The first part of the book introduces and explains in detail the major principles and techniques associated with proteomics (sampling procedures, protein separation, data analysis, etc). The second part of the book presents major achievements in different areas of research within animal science. For instance, it is described how proteomics may be used in animal and food research aiming to obtain animal-origin products of higher quality. Finally, the book also concerns the uses of other post-genomic tools (transcriptomics and metabolomics) and their interactions with proteomics in a systems biology approach. The entire book has been built around a philosophy that aims to bring novel users of proteomics into the field and to consider or continue using proteomics in their research projects dedicated to farm animal and veterinary sciences. Therefore, concepts and technologies described in the book are of easy access and easy to follow and understand, rendering it particularly suitable for all members of the farm animal research community: students, professors, researchers, technicians and regulatory bodies.

The butcher boy's manual

In the first part of this book farm animals are described, presented by category (beef, veal, pork, lamb and poultry) with a description of the French and foreign emblematic breeds, the different animal feeding habits and the main cuts of carcasses. . In a second part, the book addresses the issues of maturation, preparation and cooking of meat by describing the material, ingredients, preparations and different types of cooking. The third and last part brings together recipes and their history over the centuries.

Traditional meat products in North Africa

This paper is part of a translation into French of the recently published systematic review in the Journal of Ethnic Foods (2018), 5, 83 – 98 DOI: about ethnic meat products of the North African countries. Traditional meat products constitute one of the ancient cultural heritages of North African and Mediterranean countries: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Over the years, people from these countries have consumed several meat products in such a way that biochemical and microbial actions can take place not only to help increase the shelf life but also to enhance the flavor and nutritional quality of the products. These ethnic meat products are prepared using different animal sources, but all verified to be halal, and consumed during local events, family celebrations, or religious feasts. To our knowledge, this is the first study that reports the traditional knowledge that covers the origin, preparation, characteristics, and consumption habits of 32 North African traditional meat products. Moreover, the listed meat products are grouped into five categories using both traditional and scientific knowledge related to their preparation. The identified categories are i) salted and/or marinated meat products but not dried; ii) dried but not fermented meat products; iii) fermented semidry/dried meat products; iv) smoked meat products; and v) cooked and/or candied meat products.

Is meat of turkey breeders really different from that of standard turkeys?

The technological, nutritional and sensorial quality of breasts and thighs with shanks of turkey male and female breeders was characterized by comparison with breasts and thighs with shanks of growing male and female turkeys from Grademaker line (Hybrid Turkeys) and analysing 20 birds per sex and per physiological stage. The turkey breeders were slaughtered at 397 and 410 days of age and 10.42 and 32.67 kg of body weight for the females and males, respectively. The growing turkeys (standard birds) were slaughtered at 75 and 103 days of age and 5.89 and 13.48 kg of body weight for the females and males, respectively. The differences observed between males and females on one hand and between standard and breeder turkeys on the other hand were mainly induced by differences in slaughter ages and sexual dimorphism on body weight. The meat of female breeders has characteristics close to those of female and male standard turkeys whereas the meat of male breeders is clearly distinguishable particularly by displaying lower tenderness and water holding capacity.

Eating meat: various challenges and impacts

This article summarizes the seminar organized by INRA and the consumer association CLCV on the theme “Eating meat: many challenges and impacts” that was held on May 15, 2018 at AgroParisTech. Consumers modify their behavior qualitatively and quantitatively. Attentive to price changes, they seek to be informed about food products and their production methods, and even to influence them. The scientists at INRA, who were present, study the nutritional characteristics of meat products, their impact on health, the cultural aspects and other determining factors for the consumption of meat products, the economy and organization of breeding systems, their environmental impacts, and animal welfare. Due to the scope of these multidisciplinary fields, they were able to answer the questions raised by consumers by highlighting the complexity of agricultural and food issues in a French, but also European and global perspective. The synthesis presented here seeks to report on the researchers' presentations by integrating their answers to the questions asked by the audience.

Meat and cancer: a point of view

Does eating meat induce colorectal cancer? This is the question that was raised by the announce by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published in the scientific journal The Lancet Oncology on the relation between the risk of colorectal cancer and the consumption of red and processed meat (Bouvard et al., 2015). This article is a summary of the main conclusions of the IARC Working Group that convened in Lyon in October 2015. According to IARC classification, this group of experts concluded that processed meat should be classed as “carcinogenic (Group 1)” and red meat as “probably carcinogenic (Group 2A)”. This announce caused a great deal of controversy and of course has many implications for the meat processing and production sectors. The complete report, Monograph N° 114 of IARC, was published in May this year and gives details on all the studies used for this report (IARC, 2018). But how did this group come to this classification? How should we interpret these conclusions? What do the numbers mean? What are the causes? What can the meat sector do? These are questions, and their answers that are addressed in the current paper. 

Everything you need to know about food. Untangling the real from the fake

In the form of brief chapters, answers are given to about sixty questions that consumers ask themselves when composing their meals. These responses are based on the views expressed by the majority of the scientific community of nutritionists and toxicologists. The topics covered are very diverse, covering cereal products (for example, gluten intolerances), fruit and vegetables (vegetarian "steaks", pesticide residues), dairy products (lactose intolerance), meat products (danger of barbecues), fats (trans fatty acid), aquatic products (farmed salmon), food additives (impact on food quality), food preferences (vegetarianism, veganism) and their impact on the environment (global warming).

Assessing the sustainability of a combined extensive/intensive beef production system: the case of French suckler cow-calf farms integrated with Italian beef fattening herds

This study was aimed at analyzing the performance of the beef system based on the integration between pasture-based suckler cow-calf farms in France (Massif Central) and cereal-based fattening farms of northern Italy. Two indicators were considered: carbon footprint (kg CO2-eq/kg body weight, BW, sold), and the human-edible feed conversion ratio computed as the ratio between the energy content in human-edible feedstuffs and the energy content of human-edible animal products (HeFCR). The reference unit was the batch (i.e. a group of stock calves homogenous for origin, finishing period and fattening farm). We considered 73 Charolais young bull batches (4882 heads), born in France (Massif Central), sold to northern Italy beef herds at 405±13 kg BW after a 1.16±0.13 kg/d weight gain and slaughtered at 729±23 kg BW, after a 1.52±0.09 kg/d weight gain during fattening. The mean carbon footprint of the overall beef production system averaged 13.0±0.6 CO2-eq/ kg BW, and the French suckler cow-calf phase accounted for 65% of global emissions. Conversely, the French suckler cow-calf phase was more efficient than the Italian beef finishing phase in terms of food supply for human consumption, as the HeFCR averaged 2.9±0.4 and 4.6±0.8 MJ/MJ in the French and Italian phases, respectively. Therefore, our results confirmed the complementarity of these two phases carried out in two very different contexts and the conjunction of interest between breeders and fatteners, which explains the development then the longevity of this cross-border sector since the 1970s.

An update on the bovine meat chain

The book "The bovine meat chain: Production, transformation, valorization and consumption" provides an update on the bovine meat sector (production, transformation and meat market), but it also provides consumer perceptions and expectations and the relationship between breed, meat and society. It first begins with an introduction which helps position meat in history and then it is divided into four main sections: 1) Production and transformation of bovine meat, 2) The bovine meat market, 3) Perceptions and expectations of consumers and 4) An accounting on "Breeding, meat and society". This article succinctly presents the subjects treated in the book.

Examples of meat research at INRA

The aim of the PHASE Division's research on animal products is to understand and predict the consequences of rearing conditions on the development of these products, particularly the quantity as well as the sensorial, nutritional, technological and health qualities of meat products. The ambition is to find compromises allowing to high value products under production conditions that meet the multi-performance objectives of the systems, whilst anticipating that the production conditions themselves will become a criterion of product quality. The scientific priorities concerning animal products are focused on the mechanisms of development and the functioning of the tissues or organs involved in production (notably the muscle) as illustrated in examples 1 and 2 of this article, on the development of tools for predicting the qualities of animal products especially in connection with farming practices (examples 3 and 4) and the identification of the most robust production biomarkers in a variety of contexts (example 5). For livestock systems, the challenge is to define combinations of solutions in terms of resources, animals and farming practices depending on the environment, to combine productive, economic and environmental performances (example 6) and optimization of the welfare and health of animals in different environments.

Alternatives to surgical castration of piglets

This paper reports results presented during a session organized at the 68th annual meeting of the EAAP (European Federation of Animal Science) on the theme "Alternatives to surgical castration of piglets without pain relief". The session began with a presentation of the Cost Action IPEMA, which aims to federate the research efforts conducted in Europe. After investigation in 21 European countries, the Castrum project evaluated the available methods for the anesthetizia/analgesia of animals during surgical castration. New results have been presented concerning the control of aggression and mounting behaviours that affect the welfare of entire male pigs. Advances have also been made in the area of boar taint control via genetics, nutrition, animal management or the use of an immunocastration vaccine. Finally, a study conducted within the framework of the Castrum project evaluated the sensitivity of production systems differentiated on product quality to the use of entire male pigs.

Current situation on chicken meat quality defects

Chicken meat quality defects are mainly detected on breast muscles. They are frequently associated with heavy chicken strains selected for high growth rate and breast meat yield and often used for cutting and further processing. These defects show similarities with changes observed in certain myopathies. The following conditions will be described: the white striping that corresponds to the inclusion of lipid deposition between the muscle fibres; the wooden breast that affects more or less wide zones of fillets becoming very hard, pale and sometimes covered with a clear and viscous liquid; the “spaghetti fillets” whose muscle fibres are completely deconstructed and break up; the “Oregon disease” that occurs on Pectoralis minor muscle and results in a greenish colour. The aim of this review was to present the current knowledge on the origin of these defects and the strategies to limit them.

Animal feeding and quality of their products

The objective of this collective synthesis is to take stock of scientific knowledge on the relationships between animal feeding and the quality of their products. All groups of terrestrial animal products are studied: meat products from ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats) or monogastrics (pigs, poultry), ruminant dairy products (milk, butter, cheese from cattle, sheep, goats) and eggs. The products were examined according to the different components of quality: sanitary (microbiological, chemical), nutritional, organoleptic, technological and how they are used. We show how the quality of animal products, in response to consumer expectations, is taken into account in the structuring and operation of the industry through examples of diet formulations, or studies from the sector of products with official quality mark (Red Label, Protected Designation of Origin) or quality approaches (Bleu-Blanc-Coeur).

The main impacts of the trade and comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on European animal production

Nearly 10 years after the launch of the negotiations, the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) was ratified by the EU institutions in February 2017. Even though member States of the European Union (EU) still have to ratify it, the bulk of this so-called "mixed" agreement (shared powers between the EU and its member states) has been applied since the provisional entry of the agreement at the end of September 2017. Indeed, the implementation of the provisions of Community competence will not wait for the final ratification of the agreement.
This is particularly the case for tariff issues that will have an impact on European agriculture, in particular by reducing still significant customs duties. It also offers new opportunities for downward revision of sanitary, phytosanitary and environmental standards. A study published by the Livestock Institute, IFIP and AgroParisTech shows that this agreement could weaken European production of beef and pork, through additional imports of meat at zero customs duty at certain times.

Meat science toward 2030: global strategic directions initiative background paper

Birkenwood International Pty Ltd is inviting you to contribute to the international research agenda in meat sciences.
PHASE 1. We invite you to submit your views in response to the following questions:
1) What are the key challenges and opportunities for meat science toward 2030?
2) How do we harness meat science and related expertise into the future?
Please submit online at: Meat Science Toward 2030 ( . We welcome responses until June 20th, 2018.
PHASE 2. Review of all submissions. The submissions will inform the setting up of a Global Meat Science Expert Group and high level discussions within this group when convened in Phase 3.
PHASE 3. Convening of the Global Meat Science Expert Group for a 2-day meeting (location to be advised).
Members of the Meat Science Expert Group will receive funding towards personal time spent and travel. It is anticipated that the outcomes of this meeting will include agreement on high-level strategies that address the identified challenges and opportunities out to 2030. These will include potential strategic approaches to encourage collaborative application of global resources and development of research talent together with an acceleration of knowledge transfer through enhanced industry and research interaction.

Humans and meat: a story of love and hate

Human societies are habitually omnivore and have coevolved with meat, a valuable dietary resource that has been vital to evolution and survival. This evolutionary entwinement is of a biosocial nature, whereby meat exerts several functions exceeding its nutritional role. Even nowadays, albeit less overtly, so-called ‘meat traditions’ are involved in the structuring of communities through their role in bonding as well as in hierarchical consolidation. In addition, their semiotic aspects are extraordinary. Eating meat, however, requires the killing of animals, which may be considered as a disquieting activity to the human psyche. Solutions to deal with this effect are culturally contingent. Whereas hunter-gatherers usually kill on a basis of deference, domestic societies seem to shift to a more dominion-oriented approach. In both cases, slaughter is profoundly ritualized. Postdomestic societies, however, act in fundamentally different ways, whereby the killing of animals has been confined to slaughterhouses and meat has largely become a product abstracted from its animal origin. Postdomestic praxis has been labelled as carnism (term used especially by the partisans of veganism to designate the consumption of meat despite a disgust of killing animals). Yet, the information revolution has led to an increasing exposure to the practice of animal killing, creating societal upset in some consumer segments. Several trends can be identified as a result of this new paradigm, which are based on a heterogeneous set of solutions, ranging from meat avoidance to cultural contextualization, often via ‘story-telling’.

Ethics of the man-animal relationship. For a fair balance

The animal occupies a position in society that is gaining in importance, which is probably excessive, in  society. The books devoted to the ethical questions that concern animals are mostly very much in their favor. The consultation of members of various sections of the Academy of Agriculture and the Veterinary Academy as part of one book on such a sensitive topic, allowed questioning all the sensibilities, far from any partisan speech, while respecting the right balance needed to process reliable information. Even though the object of the debates was the animal, its status, its well-being, it seemed necessary to place it in a context of production and thus in its economic context. This is why livestock farming is at the heart of the book's concerns. But no aspect of human-animal relationships has been ignored: What are animals? Various approaches; Ethics of human-animal relations in livestock farming; Ethics of animal experimentation; Ethics of human-animal relations; Other aspects of animal ethics. This book aims at encouraging reflection.

Post-genomic era of molecular biology – Proteomics era II

The ERA (European Research Area) Chair team of Zagreb has been created through the European Union seventh research framework program. The objective is to upgrade, encourage, develop and enlarge the capacities in molecular biology of veterinary medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zagreb, Croatia, for a 4 years period. Different workshops have been organized to introduce omics science to veterinary medicine. The last one, entitled “Post-genomic era of molecular biology – Proteomics era II”, was organized at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Zagreb from 14th to 16th November 2017. Internationally recognized specialists presented recent advances and applications, mainly in proteomics but including other omics (genomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics). A number of contributions published in this article illustrate shared methodologies between animal sciences (meat quality, animal production and welfare) and veterinary medicine (animal health). The first two contributions described the potential of proteomics and of bioinformatics in animal sciences and veterinary medicine. Then, practical examples of the usefulness of proteomics were described in various species (sheep, goat, cattle) regarding different topics (seasonal weight loss tolerance, eating quality of beef, invasive biomarkers of various phenotypes, ontologies and phenotyping to maximize use of genomics and proteomics).

Generation and distribution of productivity gains in beef cattle farming

Thanks to the surplus accounting method, we measured the productivity gains and the combined effects of output and input price variation on Charolais beef cattle farmers’ income between 1980 and 2015. During this period, the total factor productivity has slightly grown at an average annual rate of 0.17% mainly due to a huge increase of labour productivity, while the productivity of all other factors decreased. We observed a decrease in farmers’ income, a slight drop in intermediate consumption prices, land rent and financial costs, and a high increase in public aids. Over the 36 years, with a share of nearly 64% of the global surplus, the downstream of the beef sector appears as the main beneficiary of these productivity gains through a decrease in agricultural product prices. Due to the aids and subsidies allocated to beef-cattle farmers, the state and the European Union are the main funders of this drop in prices and the farmers were the losers in the surplus distribution via a significant decrease in their income.

Processing of beef using a Biltong process

Biltong is a traditional salted and dried meat product from South Africa, usually made from beef or venison. During the drying process, the lamellas undergo physicochemical and microbiological changes, which contribute to the elaboration of the organoleptic and sanitary qualities of the products. The aim of this work was to study and compare the evolution of some physicochemical (mass, water activity, salt content, pH and D- and L-lactic acid content) and microbiological (lactic acid bacteria and total aerobic mesophilic bacteria) properties of beef prepared according to a Biltong type recipe, during drying in an artisanal climatic chamber. The results of the physicochemical and microbiological analyses of the samples, three days after drying, led to the manufacture of stable and food-grade meat products. The organoleptic characteristics of the products show that the products prepared in the laboratory differed slightly from the commercial Biltong in terms of a less pronounced odor, salty taste and acidity.

Disinfection of small equipment during the processing

According to EU regulations, slaughterhouses and cutting plants “must have facilities for disinfecting tools with hot water supplied at not less than 82 °C, or an alternative system having an equivalent effect”. This study was designed to identify and assess in controlled conditions, the effectiveness of alternative systems to the disinfection of tools with water at 82 °C. These disinfection systems have been causing problems for several years of maintenance, cost and security, without their real efficacy being proven. Several of the tested different combinations of water temperatures (60 to 75°C) and treatment times (10 to 60 seconds), and application conditions (immersion and spraying) were tested. The efficacy of these combinations were evaluated in controlled conditions, on knives contaminated with meat or bovine or porcine faecal matter, naturally enriched in bacteria and acting as indicators of hygiene. The efficacies were compared to those obtained with the minimal reference temperature (82°C; fixed treatment time of 10s for trial assays) (length of treated not defined in EU regulations). The results of immersing the knives in 75°C/15s and 70°C/30s, or spraying at 75°C/10s, 70°C/20s, and 65°C/60s, are not statistically different from bacterial reductions observed with the reference method. These combinations were validated by the DGAL as alternative physical methods and may be included in the health regulations of slaughtering and meat processing establishments. This study contributed to the DGAL review of the conditions recognized as alternative tool disinfection methods as compared to the use of water at 82°C minimum in slaughterhouses and meat processing factories treating slaughtered livestock, farmed game, poultry or lagomorphs and wild game.

Factors determining the sensorial quality of bovine meat: what is the importance of breed?

The evaluation of the sensorial qualities of meat is a major challenge for the meat sector since consumption tends to evolve towards lower quantities of meat but of greater quality. According to several studies done recently on the study, it appears that there are several factors responsible for meat taste. These studies showed that genetic markers could be responsible for different meat qualities. Thus, several genes or proteins may be more or less directly linked to meat tenderness. The breed would also have a variable influence; some specialized beef breeds have a tendency to produce more tender meat than dairy breeds due to specific characteristics such as the expression of the double-muscled gene. This article is aimed at establishing the importance of genetic factors belonging to the animal itself such as its age, sex and hormonal status, breeding method and in particular its food up to the transformation process of changing “muscle” into “meat”. Indeed, transformation, maturation and cooking play crucial roles in tenderness and the different aromas of meat whereas overall the influence of breed is low.

Clustering of Maine-Anjou PDO cows into classes of rearing practices and characterization of their carcass, meat and muscle properties

This article is partly based on a recent publication in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2017), 65 (37), pp 8264-8278: DOI: The main objective of this study was the identification of the rearing practices of cows using 16 variables related to both the animal's life and finishing period. Three classes of rearing practices were obtained using for the first time an original statistical approach based on principal component analysis coupled with the iterative k-means algorithm. The classes were different in their carcass characteristics. Old cows raised mainly on pasture have better carcass characteristics. The Longissimus thoracis muscle of the cows raised on pasture (with high physical activity) showed greater proportions of IIA fibers at the expense of the fast IIX ones. Accordingly, the meat of these animals has better color characteristics. The statistical approach applied in the case of the Maine-Anjou PDO is proposed to be applied on additional French breeds and animal types.

Highlights about the role, impacts and services provided by European livestock farming

This article focuses on a presentation of the special issue of “Inra Productions Animales" entitled "Multiple services and impacts from European livestock farming," which consists of 10 articles offering state of the art knowledge derived from the latest research on cattle, small ruminant, pig and poultry farming systems. These articles are based on three sections from a scientific collective assessment funded by the French ministries responsible for Agriculture and the Environment, and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). We identify bundles of services associated with livestock farming across different European livestock areas, and highlight their diversity.

International research on beef and lamb eating quality

Teagasc (Irish R&D institute in agriculture) hosted a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) workshop focusing on eating quality, beef and lamb carcass grading to underpin consumer satisfaction and the implementation of UNECE standards. The workshop was also supported by Meat Livestock Australia (MLA). Prior to the workshop, scientists from six countries had decided to use MSA consumer testing protocols to develop a global DATAbank under the auspices of a Not for Profit Foundation established for this particular purpose.  MLA offered to facilitate a data development project to ensure data compatibility. Consequently, a Foundation under the name, “International Meat Research 3G Foundation” had been established on June 12, 2017. The purpose of this foundation, in addition to hosting the data bank, is to add MSA (Meat Standard Australia) grading inputs and MSA consumer testing protocols to the research in eating quality worldwide.

Sustainable Meat Markets, Cross-border Trade and Eating Quality

Teagasc (Irish R&D institute in agriculture) hosted a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) workshop focusing on eating quality, beef and lamb carcass grading to underpin consumer satisfaction and the implementation of UNECE standards. The workshop was also supported by Meat Livestock Australia (MLA). In addition and in parallel, a training workshop was organized for participants interested in meat markets, quality production and standards for international meat trade particularly, the UNECE standards. This workshop took place before the 63rd International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) and is, in part, a follow up to similar workshops held in the Republic of Korea and France associated with the 56th and 61st ICoMST respectively. This workshop provided a dedicated forum bringing together researchers with an interest in beef and lamb grading for eating quality. The Conference gathered 118 public and private experts including regulators, scientists and meat professionals. The presentations by the note speakers are available on The objectives of the workshop were to facilitate further the international collaboration on sensory evaluation and industry systems underpinning carcass grading for consumer satisfaction of cooked beef and lamb. It also aimed to facilitate the development of sustainable meat markets and the integration of Central Asian and Balkan countries into international meat trade.

Where is meat research going?

Professors David Ledward and David Hopkins, respectively former and current editor of Meat Science, presented orally at the 63rd International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (13-18th August 2017, Cork) a history of research on meat and meat products.
It appears that the time and money spent for scientific research and for research-development on meat and meat products over the last 50 years has been considerable. This short review inspired from the article published in Meat Science 132 (2017) 29–34 summarises what was known 50 years ago in meat science, what have been the main findings so far, and in the light of current knowledge, what are some of the challenges for the future.

The end of animal life: a start for ethical debate

Making decisions about the end of animal life is common practice, yet it is not normal. The end of animal life is related to many societal and ethical questions and concerns. Questions such as how long should we continue to treat an animal before killing it? Or whether it could be legitimate to kill individual animals for the welfare of the herd or for the survival of future generations. This edited volume aims to get grip on the many questions related to the end of animal life. The chapters show how the plurality of views on killing animals is related to moral presuppositions by providing an overview on the ethical views on end of life decisions. Furthermore, the book contains a number of applied studies of the ethical questions related to killing animals in various practices including livestock farming, animal experimentation, companion animals, wildlife management, and fishing and fish farming. These chapters can help students, veterinarians, scientists, policy makers and many other professionals working with animals to easily get a good overview of the issues at stake and contribute to responsible decisions with regard to the end of animal life.

Exogenous weaknesses in the competitiveness of the Algerian bovine meat sector

The competitive advantages of the sector in Algeria seem to be reduced, given the constraints on its competitive capacity. Moreover, the economic environment, social factors, territorial factors, organization and articulation of the various links in the sector remain unfavorable. It is generally accepted that the capacity of the players in the sector to cope with the liberalization of trade is closely linked to the support of the State. This article proposes an analysis of the exogenous factors that weigh on the competitiveness of the Algerian beef and veal sector.

World zoonoses: challenges and perspectives

Zoonoses are infectious or parasite diseases that are naturally transmitted between man and animals. Their importance in animal and public health has been established. Even though the main zoonoses in farming are controlled in Europe, the evolution of human behavior all over the world is changing things. Transmission of zoonotic agents to man is indeed influenced by human migration and globalization of trade and also by close contact between man and both domestic and wild animal reservoirs. The risk of emergence and development of diseases, including zoonoses, may continue to being particularly strong in the future, notably in the South. Strategic axes are needed to better control their development; these must be defined on the world level notably through the organization of health systems and the preparation of society to new pandemics.

Effect of diet and muscle type on fatty acid composition and lipid peroxydation of lamb meat

This study was aimed at evaluating the effect of diet and muscle type on the fatty acid composition of lamb meat to better meet dietary recommendations for consumers and to ensure a good nutritional quality of the meat. Twenty local Ouled Djelal lambs (7 to 9 months of age) including ten from the Laghouat steppe pastures (30 kg of body weight) and ten from Mostaganem (34 kg body weight) were used. After slaughter, samples of Longissimus dorsi (LD) and Biceps femoris (BF) muscles were collected to assess the nutritional quality of the meat. The feed had no effect on muscle lipid content, as opposed to muscle type. Lamb chops had a higher lipid content (17.13 g / 100 g muscle) than lamb legs (3.15 g / 100 g muscle). Regarding the oxidative stability of the lamb meat, the data allowed us to conclude that the muscle type influenced TBARS value (marker of lipid peroxidation). The data show that the samples from steppe grazing presented the highest oxidative stability, demonstrating the importance of animal feed for lamb meat quality.

Genetic improvement of behavior of Charolais cows

During the last decades, selection of beef cattle only included traits that were directly associated with profitability, such as production, reproduction, ease at birth and maternal contribution to calf growth. Today, behavior is included in selection objectives. Behavior is interesting since it is linked to safety and the ease of work of the breeder. The objective of this study was to estimate the heritability and genetic correlations for behavior traits in Charolais, using on-farm collected data. Farmers recorded aggressiveness during gestation, during the days following birth of the calf, and maternal behavior, providing a large data set. Three behavior traits were noted on a scale from 1 to 7 for 5 954 cows coming from 380 farms. The differences between farms explained up to 23% of the total phenotypic variance. This may be explained by different farming methods or by constant differences in the data recorded by the farmers. Aggressiveness on the days following birth of calves had a higher heritability (0.19) and genetic variation coefficient (11%) than the maternal behavior during gestation (h² = 0.06 and CVa = 4%) and maternal behavior (h² = 0.02 and CVa = 2%). The genetic correlations between aggressiveness and maternal behavior were high (from 0.71 to 0.98 absolute values), indicating that it is difficult to simultaneously improve maternal behavior and reduce aggressiveness. In conclusion, this study shows the opportunity for implementing selection against aggressiveness in the days following birth of calves by using a simple system of data collected by the breeder.

Animal consciousness: a review

This paper presents the outcome of a scientific multidisciplinary assessment on animal consciousness carried out by Inra from 2015 to 2017. The experts, produced in a 169 pages report in English, an exhaustive analysis of the scientific and philosophical knowledge available in the international literature. It first describes the knowledge about humans in which the concepts and tools describing consciousness have been developed. The available data on animals are much less numerous, but they make it possible to draw firm conclusions, even if they still require more data. Most of the reported results were obtained on laboratory and wild vertebrates and little on livestock species. Consciousness is defined as the subjective experience that the animal has of its environment and of its own knowledge. The overall view of the behavioral, cognitive and neurobiological studies analyzed in the report tends to show the existence of elaborate consciousness contents in the species studied. The consequences for animals of the presence of consciousness on pain and on ethical behavior towards them are presented. Additional researches should complement existing ones, particularly on farmed species.

Social debates on livestock farming within five European countries

An analysis of the controversies about livestock farming was carried out in 2015 in five countries of the European Union (Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy) to evaluate how they differ between countries as well as the responses provided for and their impact on changes in farming methods and market segmentation. The study was based on a literature review and study tours in Germany, Denmark and Italy. They made it possible to collect the positions of thirty actors of livestock farming, research and NGOs. Our study confirm the existence of a gradient of societal concerns on livestock farming, from northern to southern Europe. Controversies are very active in northern Europe on many issues (animal welfare, public health, environmental impacts, farming models). They are much less in the southern countries, especially Spain. The rise of the protest, the guidance of research and public authorities, and the initiatives of industries, are leading to changes in animal husbandry practices in northern Europe, for a growing part of production, while maintaining competitiveness. The creation of private and public welfare labels are part of a broader movement within the EU for the creation of a mandatory label according to the mode of production of meat and milk, like that imposed for eggs by European regulation since 2003. This benchmarking study highlights the responsiveness of the northern European livestock sectors to the issues. France must ensure to be in the right tempo to respond to societal expectations. Competitiveness is also a matter of anticipation.

Additional indicators as a complement to the EUROP system

This study is based on a publication in Livestock Science (2017) 202: 44-51 and in a chapter of the book “La Chaîne de la Viande Bovine – Production, Transformation, Valorisation et Consommation de la viande bovine” to be published by Lavoisier editions. The aim of this study was to propose an additional set of indicators as a complement to the EUROP system, to characterize beef carcasses in slaughterhouses in a more precise way. The EUROP system includes only 4 indicators (category of animal, conformation score, fat score and hot carcass weight). The complexity of the carcass and the multiple interests of stakeholders in the production chain are consequently not considered. A scientific inventory (142 articles from 2010 to 2015) identified 89 operational candidate indicators in slaughterhouse, i.e. without significantly disrupting the slaughter chain and without depreciating the value of the carcass. These indicators were organized according to a hierarchical structure by the authors’ appraisal to select them. Indicators were selected based on the hierarchical structure according to their citation ranking in the literature and by ensuring that they were not redundant to the EUROP system and between them. Finally, a set of five indicators is proposed: hindquarter weight, meat colour, retail-cut yield, rib-eye area and marbling score.

The Newcarn certified joint technological unit

In january 2017, the french ministery of Agriculture licensed nine Mixt Technological Unit (UMT) for a five year period after approval by the Scientific and Technical Counci of the association of food industry technical institutes. Regarding meat industry, a new Mixt Technological Unit, Newcarn, is succeeding to the previous “Aprocel”, with the same scientific partners: the Institute of Clermont-Ferrand ADIV, the animal products unit (Quapa) of national research center INRA and the Pascal Institute of Clermont-Auvergne University. The new UMT is driven by a team of representants of the three partners: Laurent Picgirard for ADIV, Pierre-Sylvain Mirade for INRA-Quapa and Fabrice Audonnet for Institut Pascal. The Newcarn project aims to bring to market innovative meat products designed to specific populations as children or elder people, but also intends to study and enhance new processing technologies so as to develop new markets or to reduce wastes, to create new meat quality forecast tools and lastly to meet the increasing demand of sustainable and “clean label” products.

Ensuring safety and quality in the production of beef

Volume 1 reviews current research on the main pathogens affecting beef, summarises best practice in pathogen detection and safety management on the farm and discusses methods for ensuring safety in the food chain from slaughter to consumer handling of fresh beef.
Volume 2 reviews advances in understanding how breeding and growth affects the development of quality attributes such as fat content and tenderness, summarises recent research on how management of cattle and carcass handling affects sensory properties and discusses current research on measuring and optimising quality traits such as colour, flavour and tenderness.

Influence of cooking temperature on the digestion of proteins in meat: in vitro and in vivo approaches

In France, meat consumption accounts for one third of total protein intake. Unlike vegetable proteins, meat protein provides all essential amino acids in balance with human requirements, which gives the meat an interesting nutritional potential. This potential is the ability of a protein 1) to release bioavailable amino acids and peptides during digestion, and 2) have a high rate of digestion for inducing optimal protein synthesis. The elderly need more rapidly digested proteins to stimulate protein synthesis. Before any consumption, meat is processed. However, the application of technological treatments generates physicochemical modifications of proteins with potential impacts on the rates of digestion and the uptake of nutrients. To address this issue, it is essential to integrate knowledge from food science to nutrition. The strategy we developed was to assess the variation of nutritional potential of meat produced by in vitro approaches that take into account the composition and structure of the matrices and processes, and to assess their physiological effect in vivo.

Animal fat: a zootechnical approach

Adipose tissue which is present in different anatomical sites, constitutes the main organ of energy storage in animals. It is therefore an essential element of animal biology, which cannot be considered independently of growth in the broad sense: growth itself and development, the progressive realization of the adult state, whose characteristics underlie the notion of precocity. This applies in particular to the deposition of fat, the rapidity of which depends to a great extent on genetic type and sex. Among the genetic parameters of this deposit, the genetic correlation shows an opposition between maternal qualities (QM) and aptitude for meat production (AB), and also between growth and muscular development on the one hand, and adiposity on the other hand. It is therefore understandable how, for more than a century in specialized breeds, selection on the rate of growth and conformation of beef has contributed to thinning the carcasses, in accordance with a social demand for which fat represents an intruder, even though it is an essential factor of the sensory qualities of meat. But the "hunting of fat" has its limits: in pigs as in cattle, the industry has become alarmed by the leanness of the carcasses. To overcome this, genomic selection, despite its cost, opens promising prospects, especially in cattle.

A new methodological approach combining animal performances, nutritional value and sensory quality of meat

This work initially published in Meat Science (122, 163-172) in 2016 provides a new methodological approach to establish the links between different data sets, by using a variable clustering procedure instead of a classical individual clustering approach. Three data sets (animal performance, nutritional value of the meat, sensory quality traits of meat) were considered for a total of 97 variables for each of the 71 young bulls. Variables of each dataset were arranged into homogeneous synthetic variables. Then, the three pools of synthetic variables were analysed together to establish the links existing among the three data sets.
Classification showed no opposition between animal performances and nutritional value of meat, as it seemed possible to identify animals with a high butcher value and intramuscular fat relatively rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the classification indicated that animal performances were negatively correlated with sensory quality of meat. This method appeared to be a useful contribution to the management of animal breeding for an optimal trade-off between the three elements of the triptych (animal performances, nutritional value and sensory quality of meat).

Enteric methane mitigation in ruminants through feeding

Action against climate change can be achieved through greenhouse gas mitigation, especially decreasing methane emission. Methane is naturally produced in the rumen. Decreasing enteric methane emission in domestic ruminants, including beef cattle, can be achieved through various feeding practices. However, practical solutions are limited in beef cattle because beef cows are mostly fed with forages. The use of high-concentrate diets is efficacious but it may present drawbacks related to feeding ruminants with such diets. The most promising way to reduce enteric methane emissions is the addition of lipids in the diet, linseed being probably the most efficacious lipid source. Among feed additives, calcium nitrate and 3-nitrooxypropanol have be proven to be efficacious, but their use in field conditions is questionable for the former, and too early for the latter. Tannin-rich plants decrease methane production, but their use is limited by a potential negative effect on animal performance. Other additives and biotechnologies have not shown repeatable positive effects and they are still at early stages of experimentation. It is pointed out that a technique for methane mitigation could only be adopted if there is no negative effects on performance or on other environmental parameters.

Relationships between geographic, socioeconomic, and environmental factors and the diversity of livestock breeds worldwide

This study investigates the relationship between environmental, geographic, demographic and socio-economic factors and the diversity of livestock breeds reported within 158 countries, for four domestic mammal species (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs). In general, strong and positive correlations were found between agricultural area, human population size, species population size and number of breeds within countries. OECD countries also report more breeds than non-OECD countries. Among the parameters considered, species population size appears to be the most important explanatory factor for the number of breeds reported by countries for the four species. Diversity of production systems has a significant association with the number of breeds reported for sheep, goats and pigs. The number of ruminant breeds is positively associated with the size of the agricultural area and the diversity of land cover in the country. Thus, while demographic and cultural importance of a given species is a major factor associated with the number of livestock breeds within countries, this diversity is also connected to the variability in environmental and production conditions. This article is a shortened and translated version of the article « An exploratory analysis on how geographic, socioeconomic, and environmental drivers affect the diversity of livestock breeds worldwide » published in 2016 in the Journal of Animal Science, 94, 5055-5063.

European carcass grade does not relate to eating quality

European conformation and fat grades are a major factor determining carcass value throughout Europe. In this study published in Animal (2016) 10:6, pp 996–1006 the relationships between these scores and sensory scores were investigated. A total of 3786 French, Polish and Irish consumers evaluated steaks, grilled to a medium or a well-done doneness, according to protocols of the “Meat Standards Australia” system, from seventeen muscles representing 455 local, commercial cattle from commercial abattoirs. A mixed linear effects model was used for the analysis. There was a negative relationship between juiciness and European conformation score. For the other sensory scores, a maximum of three muscles out of a possible 17 demonstrated negative effects of conformation score on sensory scores. There was a positive effect of European fat score on three individual muscles. However, this was accounted for by marbling score. Thus, while the European carcass classification system may indicate yield, it has no consistent relationship with sensory scores at a carcass level. It is thus not suitable to pay livestock producers according to eating quality of beef as perceived by consumers.

Carcass linear measurements of indigenous goat fed local forage resources in Arid land of southern Tunisian

The valorization of natural resources in small ruminant feeding can reduce the cost of feed while producing meat of good quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of local feed resources on linear measurements of carcasses of goat kids. Twenty-seven kids were divided into three groups at the age of 4 months and with an average body weight of 15.85 kg. Groups received oat hay (group control C), dried olive leaves + dried Stipatenacissima (group OL) or grass hay (group Ko). All kids were supplemented by 350 g concentrate and received water twice a day. During the experimental period, animals were weighed weekly. The animals were slaughtered after 90 days, with an approximate final live weight of 18.50 kg. Average daily gain was comparable in three groups. Final live weight was similar in all groups (18.0; 18.7 and 18.9 kg respectively). Conformation (mean = 1. 61) and fat cover scores (mean =1.50) were similar in three groups. Linear measurements (pelvis width (G), length of carcass tail - neck (K), length of leg (F), chest depth (Th)) were comparable for the 3 dietary treatments.

A general panorama of the evolution of bovine breeds in France

The history of cattle breeds in France really began with a paper published during the spring of 1789 by M. de Francourt. Several important milestones were then reached in order to arrive to today’s situation. The crossbreeding of the English Durham breed, began the genetic improvement of our herd, then the standardization and testing of reproduction of our local breeds. These breeds remain associated with regions up until 1960. Then, the economic conditions led to the development of higher producing breeds and the decline of the number of heads of the other breeds. During the modern era, during which milk quotas were established, then their removal, can be characterized by an important development of beef breeds to the detriment of dairy breeds. A motion to safe keep and valorize these local breeds with small populations is underlined.

Foresight study of ruminant meat sector in the Massif Central area of France in 2050

This foresight study describes five 2050 contrasting scenarios of possible futures for ruminant meat sectors of the Massif central area in order to help its economic players to adapt and to anticipate. The study deals with the present recurring questions of meat production systems sustainability, according to the risks of a drop in individual meat consumption, global warming, age structure of farmers, and the high level in subsidies. The five scenarios were constructed thanks to a participatory research approach and with the help of various stakeholders. With its own coherence and logic each scenario highlights possible consequences on production, jobs and labor, environmental assessment and land uses. Those where estimated by an original approach combining expertise, literature review and modeling. An adapted grassland management and the establishment of the meat quality guaranty are the key sensitive issues in all five scenarios. The cross-analysis of these contrasting results also shows what could do stake-holders in order to seize the upcoming opportunities.

Water requirements for meat production

According to the media, livestock farming consumes large amounts of water, especially beef production; a value of 15,000 L per kg of beef is often cited. This amount includes the rainwater required to produce the plants the animals eat (“green water”). It also includes an estimate of the virtual water necessary to dilute water pollution (“grey water”). Estimates of the surface or ground water directly consumed by livestock farming (“blue water”) are lower (on average 550 L per kg of beef by the Water Footprint Network method, or around 600-700 L per kg of beef via life cycle assessment), or even less in terms of impact. This article also demonstrates geographic decoupling between livestock farming activities and water scarcity, and discusses a few ways to reduce water consumption by livestock farming.

Repeated food scandals and meat “deconsumerism”

A survey led by Harris Interactive institute of 1000 French people in october 2016 showed that consumers were very sensitive about the quality and ethics of their nutrition.  Almost half the people interviewed claimed that their behaviour towards food recently changed. A third of them say that they diminished their meat consumption in the last two years and 15% of them are following a special diet, amongst which vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian.

False meat or real livestock?

This paper proposes some thoughts supported by recent research findings. In particular, a scientific evaluation, carried out by Inra in 2015-2016, looked at livestock farming in Europe. Through a synthesis of the international scientific literature, it shows that the services provided by livestock have so far been underestimated in relation to its negative impacts. It also shows that it is impossible to draw up an overall assessment of the impacts of livestock production, whether positive or negative. Finally, the expertise stresses that the total elimination of livestock production would result in a loss of environmental and cultural services, both locally and globally.
Reducing meat consumption in rich countries, limiting ruminant livestock to grasslands, reclaiming the benefits of polyculture-livestock breeding, improving industrial pig and poultry farms, appear to be more realistic and promising than eliminating livestock and producing artificial meat in laboratories.

Objective classification of cattle meat colour marketed in Spain

In Spain, there are eight appellations for beef. When the consumer makes a purchase, he considers the color of the product to decide whether to buy the product. However, the significant color differences that are measured objectively do not always correspond to these visually differences. A total of 78 samples of different types of commercialized beef were classified according to color (white, pink, red and dark red), using colorimetric measurements. A standard color was determined for each commercial type of beef using the average values of color parameters and their variability (standard error).

Animal, meat and society: the relation is dying out

The symposium organised by CIV Viande, Sciences et Société on May, 31st 2016 at the Institut Pasteur in Paris is aimed at raising a sociological debate about the links connecting men with farm animals and meat, keeping in mind the evolution of society. Whilst it appeared that these links have grown more distant, the debate has allowed exploring how the relation is dying out, how and if this deterioration is rather superficial or deep.

Muscle biology can indicate eating quality across muscles

In this study published in Animal (2015) 9:1, pp 179–190, the ability of the biochemical measurements, heme Iron, IMF% (intramuscular fat), moisture content and total, soluble and insoluble collagen contents, to predict untrained consumer sensory scores both across different muscles and within the same muscle from different carcasses were investigated. Sensory scores from 540 untrained French consumers for tenderness, flavour liking, juiciness and overall liking were obtained on a 100-point scale for six muscles; outside (m. biceps femoris), topside (m. semimembranosus), striploin (m. longissimus), rump (m. gluteus medius), oyster blade (m. infraspinatus) and tenderloin (m. psoas major) from each of 18 French and 18 Australian studied cattle. The four sensory scores were weighted and combined into a single score termed MQ4 (« Meat Quality 4 ») which was also analysed. When evaluated across the six different muscles, all biochemical measurements, except soluble collagen content, had a significant effect on all of the sensory scores and MQ4. The average magnitude of impact of IMF%, heme iron, moisture content, total and insoluble collagen contents across the four different sensory scores were 34.9, 5.1, 7.2, 36.3 and 41.3 points respectively.  When evaluated within the same muscle, only IMF% and moisture contents had a significant effect on overall liking (5.9 and 6.2 respectively) and flavour liking (6.3 and 6.4 respectively).

What modified atmosphere for preservation of beef? Impact of modified atmosphere on the preservation of beef meat

The packaging of meats with a high oxygen atmosphere is being developed for retail distribution, being the renewed object of a large number of publications. This study shows that the high levels of oxygen used provide a “sales” appearance for a few days but have some inconveniences, notably concerning taste. The effects of a reduced oxygen level in the atmosphere (40% or 55% vs 70%) and/or those of headspace (reduced vs the usual levels) were studied in order to maximize the packaging benefits. Five types of high oxygen UVC beef were studied during a retail preservation period of 14 days. Testing was done on mass loss, color, microbiological quality and consumer preferences (appearance and taste). The development of altering microbial flora remains satisfactory during preservation. The meat is still marketable after 10 days of shelving, but shows discoloration before day 14. The trial did not show a major difference of testing associated with oxygen variations between 40 and 70%. However, the study confirmed that vacuum packaged meat has a superior taste. In fact, it seems that the volume of headspace can be lower under some conditions, which should interest packaging industrialists and retailers.

The eating quality of beef is influenced by sex and breed

Delivering beef of consistent quality to the consumer is vital for consumer satisfaction and will help to ensure demand and therefore profitability within the beef industry. Carcass traits such as ossification score, carcass weight and marbling explain the majority of the differences between breeds and sexes. Therefore, in this study previously published in Animal (2016), 10:6, pp 987–995, it was expected that these factors would explain the eating quality of bulls and dairy breeds with good accuracy. In total, 8,128 muscle samples from 482 carcasses from France, Poland, Ireland and Northern Ireland were MSA graded at slaughter then evaluated for tenderness, juiciness, flavour liking and overall liking by untrained consumers, according to MSA protocols (Watson et al., 2008). The scores were weighted (0.3, 0.1, 0.3, 0.3) and combined to form a global eating quality (MQ4) score. The carcasses were grouped into one of three breed categories; beef breeds, dairy breeds and crosses. Bulls had lower MQ4 scores than steers and females. Beef breeds had lower eating quality scores than dairy breeds and crosses for 5 out of the 16 muscles tested. Even after accounting for differences in carcass traits, bulls still differ in eating quality when compared with females and steers. Breed type also influenced eating quality beyond differences in carcass traits, which is not considered in the current MSA system. This should be taken into account in any potential model to predict the eating quality of beef in Europe.

Rearing factors that lead to oxidation of turkey meat

The turkey industry is currently confronted with problems of oxidation, which result in the apparition of zones of discoloration of red meat products. This defect increases over time and leads to the systematic withdrawal of products. Yet, factors at the origin of these defects have not been clearly identified even if the generalized heaviness of animals could be an aggravating factor. Forty-four turkey flocks were considered in this study issued from four French slaughter plants. For every flock, various parameters related to the animal or its rearing system or meat traits were recorded. The occurrence and severity of oxidation defects were visually determined at days 6 and 15 post-mortem on 50 packages of four turkey skewers per flock. Samples of meat were also taken to determine several physico-chemical and biochemical traits: TBA-RS (lipid oxidation), haem iron, oxygen and lipid (LIM) contents and determination of fatty acid composition (saturated, AGS; mono-unsaturated, AGMI; polyunsaturated, AGPI; n-6/n-3). Our study highlights the multifactorial determinism of turkey muscle oxidation. Indeed, several factors related to the animal or its finishing diet or to physicochemical or biochemical meat traits play a role in the occurrence and severity of oxidation spots. According to our results, oxidation would be favored in males slaughtered at older ages whose daily average gain and fattening during the finishing period were increased and meat ultimate pH decreased. The production of acid and oxidized chicken breast meat has already been associated with physiological status favoring energy storage as lipids or muscle glycogen to the detriment of protein synthesis. Therefore, it can be suggested to reevaluate the energy and amino acid balance of the turkey finishing diets or reducing the age at slaughter to limit energy storage as lipid or glycogen in carcass or muscles.

Environmental impacts and ecosystem services, methodologies inventories to assess French beef livestock systems

Over the last ten years, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) has been adapted to the agricultural sector. Common methodologies have been developed and used in livestock production to assess environmental burdens. These methodologies focused on traditional impacts such as climate change, acidification, etc. do not cover the biodiversity and ecosystem services. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are complex and multivariate by nature. Their assessment is complicated by the lack of a common ‘currency’, and by being extremely context-dependent. The livestock sector as a major user of land resources is contributing to ecosystem services (ESS) which benefit to society. By this way, environmental analysis has to address multifunctionality of livestock production systems. To increase the relevance of methodologies to the livestock sector, methods need to be capable of reflecting the range of beneficial as well as detrimental impacts due to livestock systems. Several approaches have been tested to propose characterization factors and to converge LCA and ESS analysis, but investigations are needed to better consider landscape scale, genetic diversity, reference situation, etc.

High Pressure Processing for meat products

An important development of High Pressure Processing has been observed for 25 years. Its application to meat and fish products allows extended shelf life without organoleptic changes. Indeed, a high pressure treatment for several minutes at 500 MPa causes a significant decrease of flora.
In 2015, 315 industrial devices for food product processing are in operation, among them 30% treated meat and sea products. In the European meat industry, High Pressure is applied to raw or cooked hams, tapas, raw fish fillets and more recently (autumn 2016) to processed salmon products. This article proposes a review of the effect of High Pressure on meat products, and its industrial development.

Red meats, processed meats and colorectal cancer. Central role of heme iron and of catalysis of lipid peroxidation. Towards nutritional prevention?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified in October 2015, the consumption of red meats as probably carcinogenic (Group 2A) and consumption of processed meats as carcinogenic in humans (Group 1). This ranking is primarily based on epidemiological studies with meta-analyses that demonstrate a convincing positive association between consumption of both these meat products and the risk of colon cancer. Experimental studies have identified the mechanisms involved. Several hypotheses, found in the literature, involve lipids, proteins, heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic hydrocarbons from cooking with high-temperature, N-nitroso compounds (NOCs) and heme iron. Although human studies have excluded hypotheses with proteins and lipids, recent experimental studies have demonstrated the central role of heme iron without additives or a synergistic effect of the HCA and NOC; role of heme iron confirmed in humans on the E3N cohort. This promoting effect of heme iron is explained by its ability to induce a strong luminal lipid peroxidation leading to the formation of cytotoxic and genotoxic alkenals. The identification of the role of peroxidation opens the door to nutritional prevention by adding antioxidants in the diet or directly in meat products.

Predicting quality of meats: myth or reality?

This review was aimed at providing an overview of recent advancements obtained in the field of meat quality prediction. The different methods used in the production sectors for the development of equations and the tools used based on different types of biological markers (genomic or phenotypic) or physical (spectroscopy) are discussed. Through the different examples that are presented, it appears that the identification of biological markers is confronted with the complex determinism of quality parameters. This makes the development of generic molecular tests to be used on the field even more difficult. However, in recent years, progress has been made, benefitting from genomics, proteomics and metabolomics technological developments. The first equations that predict the sensorial quality and the technological potential of meat hint to possible applications in the near future. Concerning spectroscopy, the main results were obtained using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) with developments obtained for the prediction of the composition and nutritional value of meats. The prediction of the technological potential of meats using this method and mainly the sensorial quality is, however, more difficult. Finally, the example of the MSA (« Meat Standards Australia ») phenotypic model which predicts the sensorial quality of bovine meat based on a combination of upstream and downstream data and whose added-value for the sector has been identified in Australia, presents a genericness that has already been proven in several countries.

How to guarantee microbiological safety in bovine meat

Products of animal origin (especially ground beef meat) may be contaminated by enterohemorragic Escherichia coli (EHEC) and trigger food borne infections. The natural reservoir of these strains is the bovine gastro-intestinal tract. The pathogenic strains possess a strong capacity to survive in the farm environment as well as in the meat. In order to reduce the risk for transmission to humans, it is important to set up strategies upstream in the food chain to limit animal carriage of these strains. One of the means could be to add in animal feed some antagonistic microorganisms that inhibit EHEC development in the animal gastro-intestinal tract.

Vegetarianism and flexitarism, emerging tendencies? How to understand the phenomenon, its evolution in the pass and planning its future?

Vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarism are often presented in the media as emerging and growing trends. A more robust analysis is necessary, based on data from existing French surveys. These differ in their methodologies, but reveal that the proportion of vegetarians is still small. In contrast, people who reduce their meat consumption, and do so for different reasons, represent a significant part of the population. There are several driving factors of these diets and we can imagine a future where French eat less meat, but of better quality.

Farming contributes to the sustainable production of proteins

Animal production is often incriminated for its inefficacity in using plant proteins, which seems to be confirmed by raw statistics. It takes about 2 and 10 kg of plant proteins to make up about 1 kg of proteins of animal origin. But these overall numbers ignore that proteins from meat or milk have a greater nutritional value than plant proteins and that it is necessary to eat 20 to 25% more to cover daily protein needs. They ignore that animals eat plant proteins that cannot be used in human foods and they graze on surfaces that cannot be used to produce annual cultures. The real contribution of animals to protein safety must therefore be evaluated by comparing the proteins produced and the plant proteins that can be consumed by humans but which are consumed by animals. Meat production with grazing cattle is overall neutral; that is to say it produces as much proteins consumable by human it consumes vegetable proteins that could have been directly used as human food. When cattle are fed large amounts of concentrate in order to attain their full production potential they generally produce slightly less protein than they consumed valuable protein for human food. These results underline an important tension between the necessity to have animals with rapid growth to satisfy a growing need for animal proteins and the necessity to limit competition between animals’ and human’s need for proteins. There is still room for progress to improve the efficiency of protein use notably by using alternative protein sources and by well-organized complementarity between plant and animal production on the regional scale in order to maximize the production of proteins that can be consumed. These points are discussed in this article.

Sensorial properties of Maine-Anjou PDO meats

The specifications of PDO beef meat define the rules for production that guarantee the production of meat with regular quality and typicality. Farmers may use their own methods. However, the effects of these practices on the sensorial qualities of meat and typicality are poorly known. The objective of this study was to evaluate in Main-Anjou PDO meat, if there are sensorial profiles for different PDO meats for typicality defined in the specifications and then to study whether these sensorial profiles are related to farming methods. To do this, the Rectus abdominis (RA, flank steak) of 111 reformed Main-Anjou PDO cows were sampled and characterized. The finishing practices and characteristics of the cows were recorded via individual surveys. Homogenous RA groups were defined using sensorial analysis results (sensorial profiles). The relations between these groups, their physic-chemical characteristics and farming practices were studied using variance analysis. Three sensorial profiles were identified: SENS+ with overall high appreciation ratings, tenderness, juiciness and flavor; SENS- with overall low appreciation ratings for the same criteria and SENS= for intermediary ratings. SENS+ meats had a tendency to be distinguished from others via a more marked oxidative metabolism, higher intramuscular lipid contents (LIM) and a lower shearing force. They have a tendency to come from dairy cows that are older and finished over longer periods than the others. There is therefore typicality in Maine-Anjou PDO meats, probably related to different farming practices. Appropriating these results by the PDO will lead to enhancing the typicality of Maine-Anjou PDO meats.

Effect of slaughter age on carcass and muscle properties of Manech milk lambs

The two parallel experiments described in this article were led in an order to identify the effect of age on carcass, muscles and meat properties of sucking lambs exclusively fed with mother’s milk. A jury made up of experts assessed visually and from a gustatory point of view the legs of two groups of six lambs slaughtered at respectively 40 and 80 days of age. At the same time, 18 carcasses of lambs slaughtered at respectively 3, 5 and 8 weeks of age were cut and the physic-chemical properties of the Semitendinosus muscles were characterized.
From a gustatory point of view, 40 day-old lambs produced a more tender and less chewy meat and with also a more subtle taste, almost bland, than those from 80 day-old lambs. Color variations determined using instruments were obvious on muscles, particularly after being cooked. Meat color from 80 day-old lambs was close to that of weaned lambs. However, in the range of ages studied (3 to 8 weeks), the shearing force and lipid contents were unchanged.

Muscle characteristics of beef meat from “Rouge des Prés” cows

The cattle breed Rouge des Prés is highlighted in the specification for the PDO Maine-Anjou. This PDO is based on sensory characteristics that distinguish this meat from other dairy or beef breeds. To date there has not been any analysis of the physical and chemical characteristics of the muscles of the race which would underpin these sensory characteristics. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physicochemical characteristics of the Longissimus thoracis (LT: nuts steak) and Rectus Abdominis (RA: flank steak) from Rouge des Prés cull cows and compare them to other races. Subsequently, the LT and RA muscles from 111 certified AOP Rouge des Prés Maine-Anjou cull cows were collected and characterized physically and chemically. When compared to other breeds, the samples from the Rouge des Prés had higher proportions of I fibers (slow oxidative) and IIA fibers (fast glycolytic oxidation) and a lower proportion of IIX fibers (fast glycolytic) in LT. Intramuscular fat content of the LT muscle was slightly greater than or equal to those of the dairy and beef breeds studied. The levels of total and insoluble collagen strongly resemble those of mixed race cull cows such as the Salers and were superior to those of suckler cow breeds. These characteristics observed in the LT are likely a result of the origins of the Red race des Prés as a dual purpose breed.

Effects of cooking on meat composition

Having precise and up-to-date nutritional composition data is necessary to meet regulatory, practical, clinical, public health and scientific needs. Cooking meat changes its nutrient content. Some nutrients do not undergo losses because they are not discharged into the juice and are not very sensitive to thermal-degradation, notably proteins, amino-acids, intramuscular fats and fatty acids, zinc or selenium. Because of juice losses, cooking causes those nutrients and the energy density to be concentrated. On the other hand, soluble and heat-sensitive nutrients, such as heam iron and vitamin B6, undergo a drop in the cooked meat content for long and high temperature cooking (boiled or braised meat). And for soluble and heat-resistant nutrients, such as vitamin B3 and B12, raw and cooked meats have the same content. This information underlines the importance of taking into account the changes in the composition of meat caused by cooking to best evaluate its contribution to nutritional intake. Globally, cooked meats can contribute significantly to our nutritional needs in terms of proteins, essential amino acids, iron, selenium, zinc and in B vitamins with both high contents and good bioavailability.

The future of meat industry in France relies on innovation and business skill

Industry representatives and organizations in France form an "ecosystem" of efficient technical and financial support for research and development. However, this sector is undergoing consolidation as described by the leaders, corporate executives and experts who have been invited to speak on the issue of innovation in the sector, during the celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the ADIV. Additionally, the industry has great need for qualified personnel and the specific requirements and organization of training specialists will be discussed in a second round table.

Use of carbon monoxide for extending shelf life of veal meat

Carbon monoxide (CO) is commonly used in the US and Canada to extend the shelf life of beef meat and improve colour stability during storage in anoxic packaging. While this technique is currently banned in Europe, its use is debated between supporters (extended shelf life) and opponents (possibility of fraud concerning product freshness). CO is of particular interest for veal meat, as the pink color is an essential quality aspect and it demonstrates poor colour stability over time (risk of oxidation). However, there are concerns that the resulting colour during storage with CO may appear unnatural or artificial. Therefore the Meat Quality Department of French Livestock Institute conducted an experimental study to evaluate the impact of using anoxic packaging atmospheres with 0.4% of CO on the colour stability and shelf life of veal meat. The conclusions are as follows: the CO treatment maintained an attractive color for veal meat for 23 days without seeming "artificial" according to an expert panel; the anoxic atmosphere with 0.4% CO inhibits the growth of strict aerobic microorganisms; sensory analysis ratings for the veal steaks packaged in CO for 23 days are equivalent to those of fresh meat, showing very good preservation products with this conditioning; whereas for samples including bone there were issues with very unpleasant odors (development Brochothrix thermosphacta bacteria) with no visible spoilage after 23 days 0.4% CO. Thus, storage under anoxic atmosphere supplemented with 0.4% CO appears to be a very interesting treatment for boneless veal. Further work should be conducted to assess the impact of CO on the color of veal meat after cooking, to validate the correct maintenance of the organoleptic qualities all the way to the consumer's plate.

Beef tenderness. Progress thanks to genomics and modelling

In recent years, national and international studies have led to a better understanding of biological processes involved in meat tenderness evaluated by sensorial or physical methods. Nowadays, “Omic” techniques enable decreasing the price of this assessment by reading the DNA, or studying the gene expression by studying proteins.
The original modelling approach of the MSA (Meat Standard Australia) developed in Australia seems very promising, since it takes into account the consumer’s preferences, breeding and slaughtering factors, ageing and cooking. The established model allows predicting meat organoleptic quality according to the kind of muscle studied and its cooking. Many countries have demonstrated the relevance of this approach. Such a model could be investigated in France, taking into account the animal type and muscle. Then, this information could be used to create a sensorial quality selection index which could be introduced into genetic selection schemes.

Definition, evaluation and determinism of beef tenderness

Tenderness is a meat assessment criterion that is difficult to comprehend for two reasons: its determinism is complex because many biological processes are involved, and those processes are different from one muscle to another. Moreover, there is no reliable, accurate, reproducible and cheap measure that is adapted to industrial conditions and is well representative of the tenderness sensation during chewing.

The protection of animals in France: the emergence of a legal status and control

The idea that mankind has of animals has evolved with time and, as a consequence, man’s relationship as well. In parallel to the evolution of the relationship between men and animals, new challenges facing society have also emerged (political, philosophical, economic, the media etc) and a legal status has materialized. In addition to the appearance of the Right to prohibit and man’s duty towards animals, a regulatory framework has been set up to guarantee the protection of animals, notably in farming. In France, protection of animals has been built on two main principles: the rural Code and European legislation. Different actors are involved in animal welfare and protection: industry professionals but also state representatives, veterinarians, scientists, animal protection associations, etc. Even though the means and actions are different, their objectives converge: contribute to legislation and the continual improvement of farm animal welfare.

Yak meat production in China

The yak is a ruminant which lives in harsh conditions in the mountains of Central Asia. More than 90% of the world’s total yak population are currently herded in Chinese territories. Products from yaks (meat, milk) and functions of yak farming (workload, energy, etc) are numerous and closely related to the daily life of the local human population. The yak meat is the main source of protein and the most important economic income for farmers. The productivity of yak is very low due to the limited feed resources and the delay in genetic improvement and livestock practices. The increase in demand for meat, and the settlement of the herds have led to a serious deterioration of the grassland and threat seriously the animal feed resources. Despite regulatory constraints which may restrict the exploitation of yaks, development of a geographical indication or of an official quality label for yak meat could guarantee added value in meat products and limit the volume of production, and therefore reduce overgrazing while supporting the meat yak supply chain.

Losses in beef sector

Food losses in the beef sector were analyzed from production to cutting, considering separately dairy herds and specialized beef (35 and 65% of French production). The dynamics of herds were adjusted for the domestic identification data base and rates of mortality by age. An experimental slaughter data base was mobilized. By comparing the annual tonnage of dead stock and the existing population, the losses by mortality could reach between 17 and 20 kg of live meat / livestock units (including losses of calves) or a production shortfall representing 2-3% of the total live weight of the cattle herd. Transport losses were negligible. At slaughter, the condemnation generating C1 type by-product would amount to 28.8 and 24.0 Kt / year respectively for milk and meat herds, which represent 5.3 and 2.4% of their respective production. C3 by-products are estimated at 305.7 Kt (milk) and 510.5 Kt (meat) from the slaughter process (42%) and from industrial or butcher cutting (58%). This study highlights that main efforts to reduce losses in the French beef sector should focus on the juvenile mortality and the high level of condemnation of cows at slaughter. Dairy herds versus meat herds perform particularly poorly on these two indicators.

Can we still rightfully continue to eat meat today?

Has recent scientific knowledge provided rational arguments of additional objective reasons in favor or not of eating meat? This is a question that we must objectively answer before affirming “we must eat meat” or “we must not eat meat”.
The scientific community against breeding and meat consumption often refer to misleading generalizations, simplifications and other false ideas. The misleading generalizations often concern species (they forget to discuss the differences between monogastrics and ruminants) or the farming system (they ignore the differences between intensive and extensive breeding systems). By simplifying they forget to mention the methods and conditions of scientific studies therefore facilitating the extrapolation of erroneous conclusions. These approximations in reasoning lead to the spread of false good ideas that are alternatives to meat and meat products for which the bases have little or no scientific evidence.

Second Polish Beef Forum

The beef industry needs a global development strategy for all matters related to the quality and standardization of meat and successful management of production on domestic and export markets. Such a document should be drawn up and implemented by all participants of the production chain, taking into account scientific developments and recent technological advances and their applications. This is the main conclusion of the Second Polish Beef Forum of the beef sector.

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