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Meat consumption is largely based on availability (both in production and economic terms), price and tradition (FAO, Bender, 1992. Harrington, 1994). The production of meat is dependant, not only on demand, as a result of price and income. But on social and economic influences such as official policy, price support mechanisms, and interrelations such as the interaction between beef and milk production, the availability of animal feedstuffs and competition for food between man and animals (FAO, Bender, 1992. Harrington, 1994).
Meat is a major food item and has traditionally held a high status in Western food culture (Twigg, 1984; Holm and Mohl, 2000). Most recipes and meals using meat are named after the meat utilised in the recipe. And as such meat is seen to be a central part of the meal (Douglas and Nicod, 1974; Gvion Rosenberg, 1990; Horowitz, 2006; Aaslyng, 2009).
Figure 1.1; Source; Consumer Insight Presentation, Produced for ABP, www.anglobeef.com/powerpoint/ConsumerWork.ppt
This importance of meat as part of the meal structure has even translated to Western vegetarian meal structure. In vegetarian dishes, the main component of the dish is often used as if it were meat or presented in such a way as to resemble meat (Gvion Rosenberg, 1990; Holm and Mohl, 2000).
Since the middle ages, eating meat has been seen as a sign of prosperity, and as prosperity in a community increases so does the amount of meat eaten (Horowitz, 2006; Aaslyng, 2009). Through the increase in prosperity, meat consumption in both the US and Europe has been on the increase, by approximately 50% from the 1950's to the 1990's, and has continued to grow within the last decade (Breadsworth et al., 2004; Horowitz, 2006; Aaslyng, 2009).
Meat has become an important part of Western diets, so much so, that in Southern Europe, meat has now overtaken fish as the main protein source, and now, compared to the Northern part of Europe, which was traditionally a large consumer of meat, Countries around the Mediterranean are larger consumers of meat than those in Northern Europe (Marques-Vidal et al, 2006; Naska et al, 2006).
There are many variables that influence the type of meat and the form in which that meat is consumed, either as whole pieces of meat such as lean beef roast, steak or minced meat (Holm et al, 2000. Aaslyng, 2009). Meat consumption differs with age and type of meat (red or white) (Cosgrove et al, 2005. Guenther et al, 2005) level of education and gender (Kubberod et al, 2002).
The effect age has on the type of meat consumed in Denmark is illustrated by research carried out by Fagt (2007)
Popularity of five selected meals.JPG
Figure1.2 The popularity of five selected meals in Denmark (National Danish Dietary Survey, 2000-2002; Fagt, 2007), (Taken from; Aaslyng, M.D (2009). Trends in meat consumption and the need for fresh meat and meat products of improved quality: Improving the sensory and nutritional quality of fresh meat, Woodhead publishing, 1, 3-18.).
1.2 Eating meat for pleasure
Eating meat for pleasure is the enjoyment extracted from eating meat. For products such as steaks, chops or roasts, three sensory attributes are of major importance when considering the value in pleasure through eating meat are Tenderness, juiciness and flavour (Aaslyng et al, 2007. Bryhni et al, 2003. Miller et al, 2001. Maltin et al, 2003). The ranking of importance of these factors to the consumer varies geographically (Aaslyng et al, 2007) and on the level of importance assigned to the other preference linked attributes (Huffman et al, 1996. Killinger et al, 2004). When the meat is tender, juiciness and flavour have a larger impact on preference and are more important, and when the meat is less tender increased tenderness is more important (Miller et al, 2001). However, these three factors can only be assessed by the consumer on cooked meat. When the consumer is buying meat, they have to estimate the eating quality from other attributes such as appearance (Aaslyng, 2009). The appearance of raw meat is therefore, of course, very important in the consumer's choice and purchasing behaviour (Aaslyng, 2009).
The appearance of meat at the point of purchase is very important to the consumer (Aaslyng, 2009). For pork, colour and subcutaneous fat are the two main drivers of acceptability in appearance of the meat (Aaslyng, 2009). The consumer associates the colour of the meat with freshness, while a thin layer of subcutaneous fat is associated with health (Aaslyng, 2009).
In beef it has been seen that consumers prefer low marbling or intramuscular fat (IMF) in raw meat steaks at the moment of purchase, but when consuming cooked meat, consumers prefer steaks with a higher degree of marbling or IMF (Jeremiah et al, 1992. Risvik, 1992).
For the consumer tenderness is often described as the most important factor for high eating quality, especially in beef (Aaslyng, 2009. Maltin et al, 2003. Risvik, 1994). Consumers are able to distinguish between tender and tough muscles, however the variation of tenderness between these extremes are more difficult to separate (Aaslyng, 2009. Maltin et al 2003. Siversten, 2002).
It has been shown that the level of consumer acceptability is crucial to the level of tenderness (Huffman et al, 1997) so much so that consumers are willing to pay more for increased levels of tenderness (Boleman et al, 1997).
The tenderness of meat is due to many different factors, and there are different ways to achieve or increase tenderness in meat, both in vivo and post mortem (Aaslyng et al, 2004. Aaslyng, 2009). Factors and processes such as ageing (Kristensen et al 2003, 2006. Therkilsden et al, 2002), the degree if intramuscular fat (IMF), (Aaslyng et al, 2004. Brewer et al, 2001. Fortin et al, 2005). and in beef, a 'window of acceptability has been identified from 3% IMF being the lower limit of palatability, 5% for medium palatability and an IMF content of at least 7% for high palatability (Savell et al, 1988). Different forages have also been considered as a factor affecting the palatability and tenderness of beef, however recent papers have found this not to be the case (Jiang et al, 2010). Tenderness may be increased in meat using techniques such as marinating, using a solution with NaC1 or CaC12, often including other ingredients such as sugars and spices. Injecting the solution into the meat increases tenderness, juiciness and flavour (Aaslyng, 2009). In beef, a linear relationship has been demonstrated, with shear force decreasing as salt concentration increases (Baublits et al, 2006), it has also been demonstrated that the marinating of a potentially non-tender muscle such as knuckle (M. rectur femoris) can increase the tenderness to the level of a non-marinated loin (Rosenvold et al, 2006).
Other tenderising techniques include mechanical tenderisation, by blade or needle. And it has been shown that such tenderisation techniques can reduce the shear value of reformed steaks from muscles such as brisket (M. pectoralis profundus) from 80.8N for non-tenderised to 61.8N for blade tenderised, to 40.4N needle tenderised (Kenny et al 2008). And electrical stimulation (ES) which has been shown to accelerate the tenderising effect on muscle under conditions of slow cooling (George et al, 1980). There has also been a study undertaken to evaluate the use of high pressure heat treatment on whole carcasses and muscles to increase tenderness (Sikes et al, 2010).
Flavour is a very important attribute in relation to eating quality in all meats (Aaslyng, 2009). Preferred flavours in meat are very important, but equally so, it is important to avoid off flavours in meat (Aaslyng, 2009).
There are literally hundreds of compounds that contribute to the flavour and aroma of meat. Complex interactions between these compounds influence meat flavour (Calkins and Hodgen, 2007). The flavour of meat can be influenced by oxidation, lipid content, feeding/diet, myoglobin and pH (Calkins and Hodgen, 2007).
Fried flavour in meat is generated through the heat treatment of the meat during the cooking process.
The flavour and aroma compounds in meat are formed by several pathways, such as, lipid oxidation and Maillard reaction or non-enzymatic browning. The reactions between compounds from these two systems results in a large number of volatile compounds (Mottram, 1994. Calkins and Hodgen, 2007). The thermal degradation of other compounds, such as thiamine, also contributes to the flavour of meat (Tai et al, 1999. Calkins and Hodgen, 2007).
It has been demonstrated that with increasing intra muscular fat (IMF) there is an increase in the acceptability of fried flavour of beef and pork (Brewer et al, 2001. Killinger et al, 2004). The effect of IMF on flavour in meat could be due to improved flavour release, not only increased flavour development in the meat (Aaslyng, 2009) which agrees with studies showing minor effects of fatty acid composition on the aroma and flavour of beef and pork (Elmore et al, 1999. Tikk et al, 2007. Wood et al, 2003) even though it has been demonstrated that some fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, in high concentration can increase off flavours in meat (Aaslyng et al 2007. Elmore et al, 1999).
As the Maillard reaction is essential for developing fried flavour during heat treatment of the meat (Aaslyng, 2009. Mottram, 1998) the content of amino acids and carbohydrates in the meat is crucial (Aaslyng, 2009. Mottram, 1998).
Meat has high protein content, and as a result, amino acids should be present in large amounts (Aaslyng, 2009). This suggests that carbohydrates are more likely to be the limiting factor in flavour development (Aaslyng, 2009). As a result, studies have focussed more on the carbohydrate content in meat and the effects of carbohydrate levels on flavour (Koustidis et al, 2007).
Off-flavours have been identified and reported in studies involving beef and veal. Flavours such as, metallic, cowy, grassy, painty, milky and sour flavours in beef (Calkins et al, 2007) and livery flavours in veal (Yancy et al, 2006).
Even though flavour is an important factor in consumer preference (Aaslyng et al, 2007), the consumers' willingness to pay for improved flavour attributes in meat has not been investigated as fully as that of tenderness attributes in meat (Aaslyng, 2009).
Juiciness is seen as another important factor in the eating quality of meat (Aaslyng, 2009. Risvik, 1992. Troy and Kerry, 2010). The importance of juiciness in the eating quality of meat depends on the composition of the meal, and the cooking processes involved in the preparation of the meat (Aaslyng, 2009), for example, a steak fried or grilled will need to be juicier than smaller pieces of diced or sliced meat in a stew (Aaslyng, 2009).
The main determining factor of the juiciness of meat is the final temperature after cooking (Aaslyng, 2009. Sheard et al, 1998). Increases in final core temperature will see an increase in cooking loss and therefore a decrease in juiciness of the meat (Aaslyng et al, 2003. Aaslyng, 2009. Sheard et al, 1998).
Increased amounts of intramuscular fat also increased the juiciness of the meat, when fried to a high final core temperature. At lower final core temperature, intramuscular fat had no effect on juiciness (Aaslyng et al, 2004. Aaslyng, 2009).
To increase juiciness of cooked meat from the consumers point of view, the single most important factor must be the education of the consumers on cooking times and techniques (Aaslyng, 2009), or to teach the consumer to use a frying thermometer while cooking the meat to obtain the best results for juiciness (Edwards et al, 2005).
1.3 Defining meat quality - Consumer Perceptions/Supplier Perceptions
The attributes of meat that determine the quality depend on the intended use of the meat (Aaslyng, 2002). Quality can be defined as 'technological quality', describing meat for further processing, or as 'fresh meat eating quality', describing meat for fresh meat consumption (Aaslyng, 2002) which includes all traits registered with our senses (Aaslyng, 2002), such as appearance, flavour and texture (Aaslyng, 2002). These quality indicators overlap to some degree for the two quality definitions, but some differences also exist (Aaslyng, 2002. Becker, 2002).
Quality means different things, to different people, at different times, and is also variable between suppliers and consumers, and different market groups (Becker 2002. Oude Ophius and Van Trijp, 1995).
Meat quality is a generic term which is used to describe the properties and perceptions of meat (Maltin et al, 2003). The term includes such things as, carcass composition and conformation, the eating quality of the meat (tenderness, texture, taste), health issues associated with meat production and consumption, such as, Escherichia coli 0157 (Ecoli 0157) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) as well as issues such as animal welfare, and the environmental impact of production. (Maltin et al, 2003).
Price is also considered as a variable part of the consumers perceptions of quality (Becker 2002).
Quality is perceived differently across Europe, and changes in meat consumption are as a result of leanness, marbling and colour rank highly in consumer perception of quality (Glitsch 2000).
The definition and understanding of quality is complex, and considers many factors. At point of purchase factors both intrinsic and extrinsic, such as, appearance, colour, shape, and presentation, price, brand name, quality assurance, country of origin, production processes and nutritional information respectively (Steenkamp, 1989. Issanchou, 1996. Van Trijp et al, 1995). Then at the point of consumption, experience quality attributes are considered, such as, convenience, freshness (Steenkamp, 1989. Issanchou, 1996) and sensory characteristics i.e. colour, appearance, texture, juiciness, flavour and tenderness (Risvik, 1994. Becker, 2002. Steenkamp, 1989. Issanchou, 1996).
As well as consumer's perception of quality, supplier's perception of quality is also considered (Becker, 2002).Firms choose a variety of possible quality attributes, including a mixture of attributes linked to both, industrial economics and quality management (Becker, 2002). The optimal choice of quality depends on customer needs, the behaviour of other firms and profit maximisation (Becker, 2002. Tirole, 1988).
1.4 Quality indicators for raw meat
As mentioned previously there are supplier perceptions of quality and consumer perceptions of quality (Becker 2002. Oude Ophius and Van Trijp, 1995). In the processing of meat and in the eyes of the supplier, the yield is the main quality parameter as it determines the amount of saleable meat and is of direct economic importance (Aaslyng, 2002). The sensory quality of meat has an indirect economic importance, influencing the level of purchase, in the amount purchased, the amount paid at purchase and frequency of purchase (Aaslyng, 2002). The quality indicators in raw meat that can predict the yield of processed meat are indicators such as, pH and water holding capacity in particular. The sensory quality indicators can be influenced by colour, meat/fat distribution and fat quality (Aaslyng, 2002).
1.4.1 Eating Quality
When meat is used for fresh consumption, the time from animal slaughter to retail counter can range from several weeks in the case of beef and days in the case of poultry and pork (Aaslyng, 2002).
The appearance of the raw meat influences the consumers purchasing preference and is regarded as an important quality factor (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009. Jeremiah et al, 1992. Risvik, 1992). However, after cooking tenderness, flavour, juiciness and appearance determine the eating quality (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009. Risvik, 1992. Troy and Kerry, 2010. Maltin et al, 2003. Risvik, 1994). The quality indicators of raw meat for these parameters are the collagen content and solubility, the content of IMF, the sarcomere length, activity of proteolytic enzymes, pH and water-holding capacity and the colour (Aaslyng, 2002).
1.4.2 Connective Tissue
It is known that muscles high in connective tissue content, such as biceps femoris, are less tender than muscles with lower connective tissue content, such as psoas major, therefore linking the level of connective tissue in the muscle to the toughness of the meat, and therefore regarded as a raw meat quality indicator (Honikel, 1992. Aaslyng, 2002). Collagen is the main constituent of the connective tissue and makes up about 2% of the total muscle protein in beef and can be divided into a heat insoluble fraction and a heat soluble fraction which reflects the degree of cross linking of hydroxyprolin in the collagen (Powell et al, 200. Aaslyng, 2002).
The degree of cross linking increases along with an increase in shear force and decrease in tenderness, with the age of an animal (Aaslyng, 2002. Lebret et al, 1998. Fang et al, 1999). Feeding regime has also been demonstrated to alter the degree of cross linking and in beef, a high energy feed intake level up to slaughter increases heat soluble collagen and decreases shear force (Aaslyng, 2002. Miller & Cross, 1987. Schnell et al, 1997). It has also been demonstrated that ageing of meat alters the connective tissue marginally (Nordyke et al, 2000).
1.4.3 Intramuscular Fat
The degree of marbling or content of IMF has an influence on the eating quality (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009. Jeremiah et al, 1992. Risvik, 1992) and also influences the consumer at point of purchase (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009. Jeremiah et al, 1992. Risvik, 1992). Consumers will reject meat with a high or medium amount of IMF at point of purchase, but find the same level of IMF in meat during consumption more palatable (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009. Jeremiah et al, 1992. Risvik, 1992. Grunert, 1997. Brewer et al, 2001). There are, however conflicting results on the influence that IMF has on tenderness in meat, levels of IMF in beef has been demonstrated to increase tenderness (Gwartney et al, 2001). However, it has been demonstrated to have a negative or no effect in some studies concerned with pork (Goransson et al, 1992). The slaughter weight and the age at slaughter have been seen to influence the IMF content in beef (Johnson et al, 1969).
A high content of IMF in beef has been shown to improve the robustness of the muscle against non-optimal cooking. Beef meat with a low IMF content was found to decline in tenderness when cooked to a core temperature of 80oC, while meat with high levels of IMF was still tender at this temperature (Cummings et al, 1999). The level of IMF content is also positively correlated to juiciness (Savell & Cross, 1988. Gwartney et al, 1996. Cummings et al, 1999).
1.4.4 Sarcomere Length
The sarcomere length depends on the chilling and the metabolism post-mortem (Smulders et al 1990. Aaslyng, 2002. Hwang et al, 2004) If the temperature of a muscle is below approximately 10oC before rigor-mortis, cold shortening can occur (Smulders et al 1990. Aaslyng, 2002. Hwang et al, 2004). Pelvic suspension of carcasses compared to achilles suspension has been shown to influence sarcomere length in both beef and pork (Moller et al, 1987. Ahnstrom et al, 2006. Bayraktaroglu & Kahraman, 2011).
1.4.5 Enzymatic Activity
It is well known that ageing meat increases tenderness (Aaslyng, 2002. Jeremiah & Gibson, 2003). During the ageing process the protein structures are degraded. Two enzyme systems are involved in this tenderisation, the calpains and the cathepsins (Aaslyng, 2002). The role each of these enzyme systems play in the tenderisation of the meat is still under discussion (O'Halloran, 1997. Aaslyng, 2002). It has been suggested that the activity of the proteolytic enzymes at slaughter is dependent on the growth rate prior to slaughter (Therkilsden, 1999. Aaslyng, 2002) the high muscle protein synthesis pre-slaughter and high activity of proteolytic enzymes could result in a faster rate of enzymatic activity and protein degradation post-mortem (Therkilsden, 1999).
1.4.6 pH and Water-holding Capacity
Short term stress in an animal results in pale, soft and exudative meat (PSE). PSE meat has a lower than normal pH that results in the meat being pale in colour and low water holding capacity (Miller, 2002). During the cooking process, PSE meat will lose moisture at an increased rate and the cooked meat will be drier, tougher than and not as flavourful as higher quality meat (Miller, 2002). The colour of the meat is a combination of reflection due to protein denaturation as a result of the pH change and the oxidative status and concentration of myoglobin (Aaslyng, 2002). A fast pH fall early post-mortem results in PSE, however a high ultimate pH results in a dark red colour, or dark, firm and dry (DFD) (Aaslyng, 2002). The connection between pH and juiciness and tenderness has been demonstrated to have more of an impact at pH above 6.0, than that of pH below 6.0 (Cummings et al, 1999).
The colour of the meat is an important quality attribute, influencing the consumer choice at point of purchase (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009) too pale, or too dark in colour results in the consumer rejecting the meat at the point of purchase (Aaslyng, 2002). As mentioned in the previous section, the colour of meat is a combination of pH and the concentration and oxidative status of myoglobin (Aaslyng, 2002). The oxidation of myoglobin to oxymyoglobin gives a red colour in the meat that consumers associate with freshness (Aaslyng, 2002. Aaslyng, 2009), however, oxymyoglobin can further oxidise to metmyoglobin, causing brown discolouring of the meat (Gutzke et al, 1997. Aaslyng, 2002).
The colour of raw meat can be measured and determined visually or instrumentally, using colorimeter, spectrophotometer and also computer vision, based on analysis of digital images (Hunt, 1991. Mancini & Hunt, 2005). In Instrumental measurement the values a*, b* and L* are measured (Aaslyng, 2002. Hunt, 1991. Mancini & Hunt, 2005) this system developed according to human colour perception by the International Illumination Commission (CIE; Commission Internationale de L'Eclairage) in 1976. The L* value is a measurement of brightness, ranging from 0-black to 100-white. Therefore the higher the L* value the paler the meat (Hartung, 2009) the value of L* is independent of blooming time but still dependent on pH and a good indicator of DFD/PSE (Brewer et al, 2001. Aslyng, 2002). The a* value measures the colour range from -150 - green to +100 - red. A high positive a* value means an intensive red colouring in the meat (Hartung, 2009) the value of a* is very dependent on the blooming time, or the time necessary for the freshly cut surface of the meat to oxygenate and form the red layer of oxymyoglobin (Hunt, 1991. Aaslyng, 2002). This measurement is influenced by the pH because the reduction and oxidation processes of myoglobin are pH dependent (Aaslyng, 2002). The b* value is a scale of measurement for the colour range -100 - blue to +150 - yellow, and a high positive b* value indicates an intensive yellow colouring (Hartung, 2009). And from these measurements, other colour characteristics can be calculated, such as, Hue angle, used to distinguish colour families and chroma or the strength of a colour (Aaslyng, 2002).
1.5 Breed and Genetic Effects on Meat Quality - Beef
Extensive research on the factors that contribute to the variation in quality of beef have been conducted. One of the suggested sources of variation in meat quality is the effect breed type has on quality factors (Miller, 2002). Biological or breed type within Bos Taurus cattle, such as British breeds including, Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn. Continental breeds, such as Charolais, Chianina, Limousin, Simmental, Maine Anjou and Pinzgauer. And dairy breeds such as Holstein, Fresian, Jersey and Brown Swiss has been shown to influence tenderness (Miller, 2002) however this is mainly due to the differences in growth rate , weight at the time of slaughter and fatness at slaughter (Miller, 2002). As long as cattle are managed in a similar way, slaughtered at the same fat class the differences in meat quality will be minimal (Miller, 2002). While differences in tenderness and marbling in Continental breeds and British breeds have been demonstrated, the differences are minimal (Fig1.3) (Miller, 2002).
Figure1.3; Summary of marbling and Warner-Bratzler shear force (kg) differences between beef cattle breed types evaluated in the Germ Plasm Evaluation program at the USDASCAN0017.JPG
Source; Miller, R.K (2002) Factors affecting the quality of raw meat: Meat processing; Improving quality, Woodhead Publishing, Chapter 3, 27-63.
The main differences in meat tenderness associated with breed effect have been demonstrated between Bos indicus and Bos Taurus cattle and has been documented since 1960 that Bos indicus cattle have higher shear force values and a greater variation in values (Wheeler et al, 1990. Whipple et al, 1990. Shackleford et al 1991. Miller, 2002). The same research also demonstrated that as the percentage of Bos indicus in breed type increases, tenderness decreases and variability in tenderness increases (Wheeler et al, 1990. Whipple et al, 1990. Shackleford et al 1991. Miller, 2002).
Figure1.4; Warner-Bratzler shear force (kg) means from the Longissimus muscle of cattle differing in Bos indicus versus Bos Taurus inheritance
Source; Miller, R.K (2002) Factors affecting the quality of raw meat: Meat processing; Improving quality, Woodhead Publishing, Chapter 3, 27-63.
1.6 Muscle Profiling and Seam Cutting
There has been several recent and current research on beef muscle profiling, with the possibility of developing novel processes and products for the beef industry (Polkinghorne, 2006. Von Seggern et al, 2005. Kenny et al, 2008. Hildrum et al, 2009).
Muscle profiling is the characterisation of individual muscles or muscle groups by chemical and physical analysis (Hildrum et al, 2009). The characterisation or profiling of the muscles will improve the general understanding of individual muscles technological and sensory properties, so as to better utilise the whole carcass and individual muscles within the carcass (Hildrum et al, 2009).
Studies regarding the characterisation of individual muscles have been extensive, in particular in the United States (Rhee et al, 2004. Bratcher et al, 2005. Molina et al, 2005. Stelzleni et al, 2007. Von Seggern et al, 2005. Grimes & Calkins, 2007) culminating in the development of an extensively researched muscle profiling website (http://bovine.unl.edu) and resulting in commercial success in developing value in lower value muscles (Jones et al, 2005).
Muscle profiling studies have now been conducted in other countries, such as Norway (Hildrum et al, 2009), Australia (Polkinghorne, 2006) contributing to Meat Standards Australia's (MSA) cuts-based pathways development work. Studies have also been undertaken in Ireland (Kenny et al, 2008. Desmond et al, 2004) and France (Jurie et al, 2004) where cutting techniques such as seam cutting and prêt a decoupe (PAD) trimming have long been practiced (Hildrum et al, 2009).
Seam cutting is the butchery practice where muscles of potentially different eating quality are separated into individual muscles, the result being a uniform piece of meat with regards to eating quality (Hildrum, 2009). This technique has even been applied to high value or traditional cuts such as M. Adductor (Rump) and M. Longissimus dorsi (Rib), resulting in multiple products of varying eating quality and variant pricing (Hildrum et al, 2009).
In Ireland and Australia studies have also focussed on grouping muscles with regards to eating quality and colour stability, prompting some innovation in further processing of individual muscles to increase value (Polkinghorne, 2006. Kenny et al, 2008).
The variety of beef production systems, slaughtering and processing techniques across countries and continents, and also considering the variable consumer preferences and priorities from country to country (Aaslyng et al, 2007. Huffman et al, 1996. Killinger et al, 2004) means that study results are not directly transferable to other countries, and as such, studies require to be geographically specific (Hildrum et al, 2009).
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