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Project Background and Impact

MACSYS - Development of an objective method to perform quality classification of comminuted poultry meat

Deboning of meat is an important technology to improve yield and sustainability of meat production. But mechanically separated meat (MSM) is generally considered to be of inferior quality, and its use is subject to strict regulations. In contrast, manually separated meat is accepted as regular meat, and not subject to the same restrictions. But development of the technology for mechanical processes of meat-bone separation today makes it possible to produce a meat raw material that cannot be distinguished from regular meat mince. There are no objective reasons to classify all MSM as being of inferior quality. EU regulations, however, still differ between MSM and meat strictly based on production method.

MACSYS will address a major market opportunity for the SMEs consortium through the development of new efficient and objective solutions for the quality classification of comminuted poultry meat related directly to quality traits. A spectroscopy and/or impedance-based fast-track system will be developed to monitor meat quality in processing lines. Software for an automatic image analysis assessment of meat quality will be developed, based on a commonly accepted histochemical method.

The MACSYS results represent a new solution to which there are currently no alternatives.

The project will have significant impact in many areas:

  • For food laboratories and inspection services - the automated analysis system can be established as the new common method in the EU for meat quality assessment, saving costs due to a fast, objective analysis;
  • Poultry meat industry - the fast-track method can be used to perform in-line quality tests and to increase the market value of meat products (a significant amount of MSM has potential to be classified as meat);
  • Meat processing equipment manufacturers - the fast-track method can be integrated into the production line and add value to the existing equipment, through the possibility of performing in-line meat quality classification.

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