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Innovative systems for objectively classifying meat products or preparations

Starting date: 01/11/2018 End date: 30/09/2021
Programme: Food Quality and Technology

Financing entities:

There is the challenge in the meat sector of objectively distinguishing preparations from meat products. The classification of a meat derivative into one of these two categories determines the application of additives that can be used.

Within the project coordinated by INNOVACC Innovative systems to objectively classify meat products or meat preparations, the Institute of AgriFood Research and Technology (IRTA) has worked together with FECIC, Noel Alimentaria SAU, Coopecarn Girona SLU, Roler España SLU and Joaquim Albertí SA to develop a decision-making tool for the classification of meat derivatives according to current legislation.

In order to differentiate and classify products between meat preparations and processed meat products, the potential of analytical technologies, complementary to histological analysis, has been evaluated under controlled plant conditions. As a result of the project, a discrimination system is proposed, based on the evaluation of the NIR (Near InfraRed) spectra of a meat derivative, before (control, CT) and after high pressure processing (HPP; High Pressure Processing). .

The proposed classification system relates the changes in the NIR spectrum of a meat derivative (CT vs. HP) to the degree of preservation of the characteristics of fresh meat and allows it to be classified as a prepared meat or meat product.

Knowing the effects of the variables of the meat derivatives manufacturing process (salt and water contents, pH and heat treatment) and their interactions on NIR spectra can allow companies to modify the parameters of the manufacturing process so that the meat derivative “comes out” of the “gray zone” or indeterminacy.