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Advancia 2017 - Session 2

From scientific reviews to a roundtable addressing questions from the participants and a forum for more questions and answers.

Presentations
21'

Meat or not: the consumer perception

  • Dr Sonia VENTANAS-CANILLAS, Extremadura University, Spain
40'

Meat defaults: what do we know on their etiology and solutions?

  • Dr Massimiliano PETRACCI (Bologna University, Italy)
37'

Meat conservation and further processing

  • Dr Mario ESTEVEZ (Extremadura University, Spain)
Roundtable
42

The final objective: producing desirable meat

  • Prof Peter SURAI; Dr Mario ESTEVEZ
Forums
Your question / Our answers

Q: Will we ever get to a point where meat suppliers (integrators) and customers (restaurants and grocery stores) are regulated to marketing truthful information?

Difficult question to answer as it is more on the perception/social aspect and on regulation there is a clear misleading information ex: we do not use hormones but it still often communicated. First issue to be covered at this regard is EDUCATION: at all levels; meat suppliers, customers and final consumer. We should all speak the same language and facilitate communication and comprehension. There is an overall lack of scientific/technical information and this needs to be sorted out. Second aspect is REGULATION and that is managed by governments through reasonable and fair legal frameworks. On this line, we agree that further efforts should be made from Academia and the private sector to encourage a better regulation. We believe there is room for improvement in the UE and definitely in the US. 

Q: What are the new perspectives to bring for meat customers?

Big challenge to educate the population about meat consumption and moving towards more quality issues. All animals have now been selected to produce leaner meat but further processing is often counter-balancing such evolution at the detriment of the health of the consumers. There are options for implementation of more advanced scientific knowledge to customers and final consumers. Classical challenges related to the safety and (sensory) quality of meat are now combined to certain health issues. We believe that meat suppliers may change production objectives shifting from quantity to quality and avoid certain meat quality problems that have certainly appeared as a result of fast-growth. Great advances have been made in terms of meat preservation (natural antioxidants, dietary strategies, superchilling, packaging atmospheres...) and that may be easily implemented. We may also make efforts in improving meat formulation and culinary preparation (industry, restaurants) to minimize the formation of potential toxic compounds and improve healthy properties of meat. Both will fullfil modern meat consumer's expectations.

Q:Do you think that with such low meat price that we are experiencing right now, we will move to a more qualitative production rather than quantitative?

Yes, on a medium term basis, indeed all meat producers and transformers will have to move towards more qualitative production.

Q:What about organoleptic qualities of the meat produced?

Organoleptic qualities influences the perception of the meat, including fat content. Consumers are concerned by nutritional value. Sensory property is very important and thus consumers prefer higher fat meat for the taste properties.

Q:Are vegetarians competing with poultry feed regarding agricultural resources usage ?

Such issue is to be considered on the global sustainable basis of animal protein production systems. It is often an argument used by vegans but it has to be looked on a global and sustainable basis.

Q:Are vegetarians competing with poultry feed regarding agricultural resources usage ?

Such issue is to be considered on the global sustainable basis of animal protein production systems. It is often an argument used by vegans but it has to be looked on a global and sustainable basis.

Q: Can we balance the consumer preference for organic production vs. the fact that organic production is not sustainable, environmentally friendly or done in a different way?

Are there nutritional differences between organic and conventional meat? It is more a question of production scheme and age of birds, giving different products there is no difference in nutritional and organoleptic properties per se. We should consider the Carbon footprint of those different ways of production to compare them, but it is more a social demand.

Traditional meat production systems (intensive in-door systems) may not be sustainable, neither environmentally friendly. Certain consumers may try to find alternative meat production systems to safisty certain ethical issues. All these terms (while mostly regulated in EU) are largely unknown by most consumers who are misled by many terms used as synonyms (natural, organic...) and usually ignored what is all about. Education is essential. And consumers should know that, generally speaking, there is not scientific evidence of a better sensory-healthy profile of meat produced organically vs meat produced in the conventional way. However, certain organic-like systems (extensive feeding, usage of agricultural by-products for animal feeding...) offer certain benefits in terms of animal welfare and meat quality.

Q: Can we balance the consumer preference for organic production vs. the fact that organic production is not sustainable, environmentally friendly or done in a different way?

Are there nutritional differences between organic and conventional meat? It is more a question of production scheme and age of birds, giving different products there is no difference in nutritional and organoleptic properties per se. We should consider the Carbon footprint of those different ways of production to compare them, but it is more a social demand.

Q: How do we best educate the customer and consumer with the meat preference presentation?

Indeed we should better educate the consumers on meat quality.

Q: What about the "new meat sources" - production from bacterias, plants... how do the consumer consider these new products ?

Today rather expensive approaches which do not take into account the organoleptic issues. What is their sustainability?

Q: Why is there such a gap between consumers desire for high quality meat and willingness to pay ?

Surely because the quality of the meat products are easily perceived by the consumers. The processing is often masking the quality of the raw products.

As an example, vitamin E and meat quality, it has long been technically demonstrated but consumers are still reluctant to pay for the benefit.

Q: If it is natural to eat meat, why are we not using animal by-products in feed of omnivorous farm animals?

A good example could be to give insects to chickens, a natural feed! 

Q: From management, nutrition & genetics, what solutions are currently available to reduce woody breast, white striping and green muscle incidence in broilers?

Those new problems are linked to the genetic development of growth. Geneticists are working on these issues. Some gene expression used as biomarker have been identified.  Reducing slaughter age/weight, and using antioxidants to reduce the oxidative stress challenge might be beneficial. 

Q:  What is the effect of ambient temperature on pHu and meat quality?

Overall, pre-slaughter exposition to cold environmental temperatures for some hours can promote exaustion of muscle glycogen stores and subsequentely reduce ultimate meat pH.  This can favour increase of DFD-like meat occurence. On the contrary, exposition to warm environmental temperature prior to slaughter can increase speed of post-mortem pH acidification by favouring occurence of PSE-like meat.

Q:  Is there any impact of stress during slaughtering on meat quality ?

Drip loss and exudative meat can increase in case of acute pre-mortem stress.

Q: What is the effect of ambient temperature on the transportation pre-slaugther on the meat quality issues?

Overall, pre-slaughter exposition to cold environmental temperatures for some hours can promote exhaustion of muscle glycogen stores and subsequently reduce ultimate meat pH.  This can favour increase of DFD-like meat occurence. On the contrary, exposition to warm environmental temperature prior to slaughter can increase speed of post-mortem pH acidification by favouring occurence of PSE-like meat.

Q:  What's the best feed withdraw time before broiler slaughter with best meat quality and less loss of weight?

Min 6hours, ideally around 12h.

Q:  What's the best feed withdraw time before broiler slaughter with best meat quality and less loss of weight?

Min 6hours, ideally around 12h.

Q:  How is test tube-grown meat perceived by the consumer? Is the quality very different from animal-grown meat?

In vitro reproducing the entire muscle/meat properties is not easy but is that important or should we better develop a reasonable consumption of animal proteins?
Though there are solid arguments (water consumption, i.e.) behind the production of meat in the lab (cultured myocytes), this is far from becoming an alternative to classical meat production (animal production) for many reasons. Among the most important: the cost and the fact that there is not muscle architecture: it is just a collection of cells and hence the sensory properties have nothing to do with real meat, particularly texture.

Q:  Should we not consider our ability to convert human indigestible byproducts e.g. from milling/brewing, oilseed cake to edible protein?

Animal feeding is an option but there is another one: there are a number of procedures to transform indigestible by-products into edible protein. A previous enzymatic/chemical hydrolysis plus additional purification steps are an option to not only improve digestibility, also to promote the formation of bioactive peptides/amino acids with assorted biological benefits (antihypertensive, antioxidant...)

Q:  Should we not consider our ability to convert human indigestible byproducts e.g. from milling/brewing, oilseed cake to edible protein?

Animal feeding is an option but there is another one: there are a number of procedures to transform indigestible by-products into edible protein. A previous enzymatic/chemical hydrolysis plus additional purification steps are an option to not only improve digestibility, also to promote the formation of bioactive peptides/amino acids with assorted biological benefits (antihypertensive, antioxidant...)

Q:  Does Vitamin D Have Effect On Muscle Hypertrophy?

It has to be further confirmed but is clearly suggested

Q:  Is there any relationship between woody breast and satellite cells growth?

There is a link between satellite cells and muscle abnormalities.

Q:  Which feed additives can help reduce wooden breast?

So far no solution. Mechanisms are not yet completely understood while it is clear that there is an oxidative/redox balance component.

Q:  How does variation in incubation & hatching affect the incidence for/ against the development of WB, WS and GM in broilers? Epigenetic effects?

At the moment the origin of the myopathies developement is unknown so it is difficult to identify how environment and/or epigenetic mechanisms can affect the development of such diseases during embryonic life. 

Q:  How does variation in incubation & hatching affect the incidence for/ against the development of WB, WS and GM in broilers? Epigenetic effects?

At the moment the origin of the myopathies developement is unknown so it is difficult to identify how environment and/or epigenetic mechanisms can affect the development of such diseases during embryonic life. 

Q:  How important is taste compared to rapid growth in broilers and how important do you think taste is to consumers?

Flavor is no doubt an utmost appreciated quality attribute in chicken. Chicken meat is largely used for its flavor and tenderness. In beef, tenderness usually comes first. The tenderness is more important than the flavor.

Q:  What is the effect of ambient temperature on the transportation pre-slaugther on the meat quality issues?

The ambient temperature during transport to slaugther can indeed be pretty high in the middle of the truckload. Such condition could indeed increase ROS formation as during heat stress and then altered the meat quality through oxidation. 

Q:  Some animal welfare guidelines require perches throughout the barn. For broilers, this seems like a bad idea when it comes to GM disease. Any ideas on this?

Green muscle diseases is linked with excessive wing flapping that can induce ischemia in the muscle. Is the fact that broiler will move wings when access to the perch would increase the problem… difficult to answer. 

Q: What's the correlation between feet burn and green muscles disease if any?

Foot pad problems are linked with litter quality and green muscle with muscle ischemia due to too large pectoralis muscle and excessive wing flapping, there is no obvious correlation between these two problems. 

Q: How do you explain less protein and more water while usually people mention tissue protein increase is accompanied by higher water content?

In meat if you increase fat => water decrease. But for muscle degeneration we are speaking about defaults not the usual increased protein content and associated water content. Slaughtering young animals will indeed enhance water/protein ratio. 

Q:  What's the practical time at slaughterhouse for the rigor mortis development. How long carcasses should be left before cut up&deboning?

Min 6 h, ideally more than 12/24h? 

Q:  What's the practical time at slaughterhouse for the rigor mortis development. How long carcasses should be left before cut up&deboning?

Min 6 h, ideally more than 12/24h?

Q:  As relating to wooden meat, white stripping, and spaghetti meat, what is the current processing condemn? 

At the moment there is no clear condemn for these meat defaults except decreasing the slauther weight and breast meat yield. Moreover, if some link between White striping and wooden breast are hypothesized, spaghetti meat seems to be a different problem. 

Q: What is the optimum amount of time (days post hatch) for optimal satellite cell proliferation, growth and development, and how do we optimize this thru nutrition?

The satellite cells of breast muscle are known to multiply during the three firsts days of life. So the window to play on these satellite cells is really short. Some experiments pointed out that branched chain amino acid can help satellite cells mutiplication at early stage. Increased TSAA during the the early stage of life showed breast percentage improvement but the link with satellite cells wasn't clearly established. 

Q: What is the role of insulin in fat deposition in white strip disease?

Maybe some insulin resistance but not clearly documented yet.

Q: After maximizing satellite cell proliferation, growth and differentiation in the starter, should we reduce dAA in the grower 1 phase (ex. Resisting after exercise)?

a good to reinvestigate the AA requirements according to growth phases but yet to be documented regarding the meat yield and quality.

Q: How nutrition (antioxidant supplementation for example) can improve meat quality?

Vitamin E has long been demonstrated to be beneficial to reduce lipid oxidation, however, often questioned regaring ROI. Other strategies and particularly complementation with several vitamins and other anti-oxidants mightbe a better alternative.

Q: You did not mention contamination by Campylobacter, is that still a relevant issue?

Yes, indeed an important issue crucial in lots of countries