Archive for November 2012

Meat Quality

Newsletter No. 22 – January 2005 Item 4

The following is the opening statement of a document entitled "Factors Affecting Poultry Meat Quality" produced by Julie K. Northcutt a scientist from The University of Georgia:

Quote:  Before poultry meat quality is addressed, the term quality should be clearly defined as it relates to poultry. This is a difficult task, because quality is "in the eye of the beholder." For example, someone trying to sell a product might view its quality in terms of how well it sells and how much people are willing to pay for it.  However, this definition is incomplete, because it does not consider the product's character. Since people only buy what they like, the consumer's perspective of quality is more appropriate. When consumers buy a poultry product, cook and serve it to their families, they expect it to look, taste, and feel good in their mouth. If these characteristics do not meet the consumer's expectation, the product is considered to be of lower quality.

Whether or not a poultry product meets the consumer's expectations depends upon the conditions surrounding various stages in the bird's development from the fertilized egg through production and processing to consumption. end Quote

Figure 1  defines different aspects of food products that determine quality.

Figure 1 - Defining Aspects Influencing Meat Quality

The author goes on to discuss only Appearance, Texture and Flavour in this particular paper.   She interprets Appearance as Colour and Texture as Tenderness.   Figure 2 is a diagrammatic interpretation of Flavour perceptions.

Figure 2 - Flavour Perceptions (Adapted from Lawless 1991)

All readers I am sure will agree that the aspects discussed are identical for any meat product, it is only the characteristics unique to each specie that will differ.  The WOA Meat committee has already produced a document "Factors Influencing Meat Quality".  One of the many research projects that will be undertaken as part of the research and development projects will be more clearly defining the areas in these diagrams as they apply to ostrich.

For example, under appearance colour is known to be most important.  With Ostrich we currently suffer from meat that is very dark, from meat that can be white (white muscle disease) and from muscles that are often multi-coloured.  All of these things are very controllable with the right production methods, yet over the years I have heard producers, processors and marketers state that these things are normal.  I have listened to a  perceived expert at an Ostrich conference tell the audience that it is normal for the meat to darken very quickly on oxidation.   These negative aspects are controllable in all specie as they are symptoms of a poor diet, correct the diet and the symptoms disappear..

Common sense suggests that a piece of meat that is a good even colour, not too dark and brightens on oxidation is going to be far more attractive to the customer than meat that is either dark in colour, blackens on oxidation and/or may have unevenness of colour within the muscle.   As this paper states, production methods are an important part of the quality control/marketing program of all our products.

Attention to the detail of all these aspects are one step required to enhance the REVENUE and therefore profitability

New Year New Initiatives

Newsletter No. 22 – January 2005 Item 3

On the subject of development of our Association, last month we discussed the fact that the competition for our industry lies not within each other, but rather the other specie supplying the meat and leather markets.   One member of the South African industry hired a professional Market Research company to assess the meat marketing opportunities in Europe.  The clear message that came back was their opinion that the industry had made a very big mistake when it opened up from 1994.  Meat was treated as a commodity and sold via traders.  The very low volume of current production operating in a market place of increasing globalisation, has made it most difficult for any single operation to make the transition from breeder market to commercial production.

A professional Market Research company hired by SUSTA (Southern United States Trade Association - to do market research for the US ratite industry produced a report in 1997.  A quote from the summary of that report:

6.2 Recommendations to the Ratite Industry:

6.2.1 Overall

- Be more ORGANIZED generally in the USA before it expects too much effect promoting exports.

- Bring down costs for both Ostrich leather and Ratite Meat through undertaking research:

* into feeding and rearing regimes
* into improved breeding methods
* ways to improve meat yields and egg fertility

- Combine together to establish and set QUALITY STANDARDS

- Conduct more research into the effectiveness of Emu Oil

- Participate and exhibit in relevant trade shows end quote

This document was discussing all Ratites, but the principles apply to each specie as each have their own unique qualities and I am sure all are agreed must not be marketed together.  However, while our industries are developing there are similarities that need to be understood in the market place to ensure each specie can take their individual place in the market place.

So, what is the solution?

In their ongoing determination to support the industry and understanding of the industry, your directors and Blue Mountain have been discussing solutions.  They believe that a commercial company be formed that is affiliated to the WOA to undertake the Marketing of the industry products on a global scale.   At the same time this company will also fund the Research and Development the industry needs to enable the Ostrich Industry to compete with the other protein producing agri-processing industries.

The suggested name for this company is ‘World Ostrich Marketing, Research and Development Company’ (WOMRAD)

This global company would invite participants from all around the world to invest in the infrastructure required to market their products on an international scale.  This company would have the benefits of economies of scale and the resources to identify and develop new markets.  All the suppliers from wherever in the world they are operating would receive the same price for their produce.  In addition all suppliers would benefit directly from the results of the research and development, training and many other areas of support.

Blue Mountain and your directors will continue to work on this idea in an effort to guide the industry in the right direction and are discussing it in detail to see if such a commercial enterprise could be dovetailed into the WOA whilst retaining the principals of this organisation.    .

In the interim, the directors invite everyone to give some thought to this idea and consider whether they think their own business could benefit from belonging to such an enterprise.  The basis of the proposal is outlined in The Blue Mountain "Review of 2004".

Past Newsletters

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