Australian researchers to offer new meat standards for beef

Beef

The project seeks to understand how long-distance rail transport affects the eating quality of beef, with the aim of opening up the pathway to Meat Standards Australia (MSA) cattle.

Posted on Sep 24 ,12:25

Australian researchers to offer new meat standards for beef

Railroad vs road transportation method, that's the new task that MSA researchers are aiming to solve in the near future in order to set an instrument capable to deliver an estimated $50 million annually in additional returns to the industry.

"Thousands of northern cattle are transported to slaughter by rail through major trucking yards at Cloncurry, Longreach and Quilpie each year, however, current MSA time to slaughter requirements render these cattle ineligible for MSA grading. The outcomes of this research will inform the MSA grading model so we can accurately predict the eating quality of these cattle.”, said Sarah Strachan, MSA Program Manager.

The research is part of MSA’s 2020 goals, set by the MSA Taskforce to make all pathways that cattle travel to slaughter eligible for MSA grading. Stage one of the project directly compares the results of cattle that travelled to slaughter by rail, to those transported by road.
240 cattle are included in the trial and the research team will collect four cuts from each carcase and prepared for sensory testing with almost 9,000 consumers over the next two years.
After that, the tests will be focused on long distances transportation methods and the effects on the animals and meat.
"The next stage will involve a more complex study of long distances and extended travel times with variations to rail and trucking travel including intermittent rest and feed regimes to evaluate the impact of various rest and recovery strategies.

The MSA program is working towards grading 50% of the national adult beef slaughter by 2020, keeping in mind the long-term goal of describing the fitness for purpose of all Australian beef", added Ms Strachan.

(Photo source: Fueloyal)

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