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IRTA uses advanced technology in ageing studies for the revaluation of beef

  • These studies provide tools enabling cattle farmers to improve the economic yield of meat from native Pyrenean breeds such as the Albera or Bruna dels Pirineus

A controlled ageing process improves the sensory characteristics of meat from the cattle, such as tenderness, aromas and flavours, making them more attractive to restaurant owners and consumers. This results in a product with high added value for the gastronomic appreciation of the meat, enabling us to provide tools to cattle breeders to improve the economic yield of the meat they market.

These studies first characterize the raw materials from sensory, nutritional and microbiological points of view. This information allows us to develop an ageing process with a method suited to the objectives set in advance, in terms of both the process (ageing in a vacuum, in dry conditions or in steam-permeable bags), as well as the desired sensory, chemical and nutritional characteristics.

IRTA has an advanced technology chamber as a result of an assignment agreement with Arredo Inox. This equipment is a patented device by Alessandro Cuomo (patent n. 1408549) that is specially designed to age the meat with an innovative technological development that permits a highly accurate control of the temperature and humidity conditions and changes in pH, and is able to strongly reduce bacterial populations and reduce proliferation of mould. The chamber allows us to perform small-scale studies in order to optimize the conditions during the process.

IRTA is currently carrying out ageing studies for companies and others within the framework of two POCTEFA European projects for territorial cooperation between Spain, France and Andorra. These are the Alberapastur and DietaPyr2 projects, geared towards the appreciation of the native breeds of the Pyrenees. Making new ageing protocols available to the sector contributes to the conservation of indigenous breeds and their economic development.

The ageing studies are conducted by the research team of the Product Quality programme of the Food Industries area located at the IRTA centre in Monells (Girona).