Danish Meat Research Institute (DMRI) - Articles and news items
Issue 1 2012 • 6 March 2012 • Dr. Lene Meinert, Consultant, Department of Raw Meat Quality, Danish Meat Research Institute
Imagine that you have found a new and cheaper supplier of spice mixes for one of your popular products. Imagine too that you want to change the raw material composition of the product. Indeed, there are many parameters that could be modified. But how do you get an easy and quick overview of the flavours of the different products? Ideally, you want the consumers to enjoy a pleasant eating experience, the kind of experience they appreciate and that makes them want to buy the product again and again.
The French wine industry needed to find a method of assessing the quality of a large number of barrels of wine in their wine cellars. They needed to know which wines were ready to be bottled. It was important that the method was very simple and that it could be performed down in the wine cellar. They developed the Napping® method, which quite simply involved placing the wines on a single sheet of paper according to how similar or different the wines tasted. The wines that were similar in taste were placed close to each other on the sheet of paper. The wine producer could then evaluate whether that particular group of wines was ready for bottling or whether they should be left to mature for a while longer. At DMRI, we have taken the Napping® method and adapted it to the needs of the Danish meat industry. Our method is known as Mapping by DMRI, though the principle is more or less the same.
Issue 4 2011 • 6 September 2011 • Lene Meinert, Consultant, Danish Meat Research Institute
Freezing is a well-known and widespread preservation method, prolonging the shelf-life of meat and many other food items. Freezing is popular, as it allows meat to keep a close-to-fresh quality for a long time, and it also allows long distance transports. However, depending on the time and temperature combinations during frozen storage, changes in meat quality can indeed occur. These changes include lipid oxidation, a major cause of deterioration of meat generating the undesired rancid taste and odour. It is important to note that freezing, which we use for food storage and distribution today, is not an infinite preservation method and quality reductions, made before freezing, do not disappear.
In order to understand which factors may affect the stability of pork during frozen storage, it is important to look at the composition of pork. Pork consists primarily of water, protein and fat, the proportion of the three vary greatly between the different cuts, some being more fatty e.g. pork belly than others e.g. pork loin. The composition of fat, or fat quality, has a huge influence on shelf-life and thereby also storage time, as the unsaturated fat content is prone to oxidation. Furthermore, pork also contains components that may promote oxidation such as iron. Finally, the amount of water influences the freezing process, as high water content requires increased freezing times.
Issue 3 2011 • 7 July 2011 • J. Hoorfar, C. Löfström & M.H. Josefsen, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark and F. Hansen & S. Mansdal, Danish Meat Research Institute and J. Andersen, Danish Crown A/S and G. Pedersen, TiCan amba
Due to the very short shelf-life of fresh (especially ground) meat, slaughterhouses benefit from faster screening tests to dispatch Salmonella-free meat as soon as possible after slaughter. An increasing number of European countries require that the meat is tested as free for Salmonella before it is imported. This is currently the case for Sweden and Finland, which have a special agreement with the European Commission for import of fresh meat.
This was the background for collaboration between Danish scientists and the two major Danish slaughterhouses. The research project aimed at reducing the time of testing from 24 – 28 hours (when the project started in 2006) to obtaining results within the same day as the samples are collected. Slaughterhouses have a two shift working day of 16 hours, which makes it feasible to design a faster test, while control laboratories usually have an eight hour working day.
Issue 4 2009 • 12 December 2009 • Lars Hinrichsen, Chief Executive, DMRI
While Denmark is renowned for its high-tech agricultural sector, the Danish Meat Research Institute (DMRI) based in Roskilde provides scientific research and consultancy to make better solutions for tomorrow’s meat industry. Employing a dedicated team of approximately 100 researchers, DMRI develops advanced knowledge on everything from animal welfare before slaughtering to the ideal processes for packaging meat. It puts this knowledge into practice by developing robots and new, safer products to customers in Denmark and further afield. Director Lars Hinrichsen summarises the challenges and opportunities facing the meat sector and shows how DMRI can help the producers tackle those issues.
Manufacturers of cured and cooked sliced meats are met with increasing demands on shelf life and safety. Improved knowledge and understanding of the interactions between the packaging parameters and their influence on colour stability, sensory perception, microbial safety and shelf life will be indispensable if they want to stay in the market.
Residual oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide content (CO2) and relative amount of headspace as well as gas and light transmission rates through packaging materials are crucial parameters. Important, too, are composition, temperature and initial aerobic count. Individual optimisation of parameters detached from their context is unlikely to be successful.
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