• From Farm to Fork: New Strategies for Quality Evaluation of Fresh Meat and Processed Meat Products

      Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Álvarez, Carlos; Morán, Lara (Hindawi Limited, 2019-11-14)
      Meat production has increased globally over the past decades and is expected to keep growing. At the same time, consumers have become more demanding with respect to the quality of meat and meat products. Producing high quality meat consistently is a big challenge for meat producers, processors, and retailers due to the intrinsic variability of the raw material, but it also generates the necessity to develop, improve, and upgrade the current quality analyses by faster and more reliable ones. Precisely, as results of the recent technological and biotechnological advances, a plethora of new possibilities have been opened for the meat production and processing sectors, and a vast improvement of the quality assessment and assurance throughout the whole processing could now be a reality. This special issue aims to cover the recent advances on quality assurance and assessment of fresh meat and meat products.
    • Interaction of salt content and processing conditions drives the quality response in streaky rashers

      Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Allen, Paul; Kerry, Joseph P.; O'Sullivan, Maurice G.; Hamill, Ruth; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11F 026 (Elsevier, 2018-07-26)
      Response surface methodology was utilised to explore the relationship between processing conditions, including cooking temperature and drying time, and ingredients in reduced-salt streaky rasher formulations. The goal of this project was to assess the impact of reducing salt content on physicochemical and sensory properties. Salt levels above 2.44 g/100 g did not affect cooking loss. Cooking temperature (240 °C) was negatively correlated with lightness and redness, n-3 fatty acids, and sensory acceptance, and positively correlated with hardness and monounsaturated fatty acids. Salt content was highly correlated with perceived saltiness and both were identified as negative attributes by the sensory panel. Results indicate that optimised reduced-salt streaky rashers with acceptable technological and sensory performance could be achieved under the following conditions: 2 g/100 g salt, 94 min of drying and grilling at 190 °C.
    • Mechanical and Biochemical Methods for Rigor Measurement: Relationship with Eating Quality

      Álvarez García, Carlos; Morán, Lara; Keenan, Derek F.; Mullen, Anne Maria; Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Basque Government; IT944-16 (Hindawi, 2019-06-13)
      Meat quality parameters are affected by a complex series of interacting chemical, biochemical, physical, and physiological components that determine not only the suitability for consumption and the conditions for further processing and storage but also consumer acceptability. Deep understanding and careful manipulation of these intrinsic and extrinsic factors have to be taken in account to ensure high quality of meat, with better technological properties and increased safety for consumers. Among meat quality characteristics, meat tenderness has been perceived as the most important factor governing consumer acceptability. Therefore, being able to early predict meat texture and other related parameters in order to guarantee consistent eating quality to the final consumer is one of the most sought-after goals in the meat industry. Accurate measurements of both the biochemical and mechanical characteristics that underpin muscle and its transformation into meat are key factors to an improved understanding of meat quality, but also this early-stage measurements may be useful to develop methods to predict final meat texture. It is the goal of this review to present the available research literature on the historical and contemporary analyses that could be applied in early postmortem stages (pre-rigor and rigor) to determine the biochemical and physical characteristics of the meat that can potentially impact the eating quality.
    • Optimising the acceptability of reduced-salt ham with flavourings using a mixture design

      Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Allen, Paul; Kerry, Joseph P.; O'Sullivan, Maurice; Hamill, Ruth; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11F 026 (Elsevier, 2019-05-13)
      The objective of this study was to optimise the acceptability of reduced-salt cooked ham containing a mixture of glycine and yeast extract as flavourings by using response surface methodology. Twelve different formulations were prepared with varying levels of salt and the two flavourings, according to a mixture design. The sensory properties were assessed along with the instrumental texture and colour. A multiple factor analysis showed that higher scores in tenderness, saltiness and juiciness were positively correlated, whereas instrumental hardness and chewiness were negatively correlated with acceptability. Response surface plots and optimisation software allowed the inference of two optimised formulations: HO1 with 1.3% salt and yeast extract content of 0.33%; and HO2 with 1.27% salt, 0.2% yeast extract and 0.16% glycine. A panel of 100 consumers found no significant differences in overall acceptability when both were compared to a control (1.63% salt). These results show it is possible to manufacture consumer accepted cooked ham with up to 20% salt reduction.
    • Salt content and minimum acceptable levels in whole-muscle cured meat products

      Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Fischer, Estelle; Allen, Paul; Kerry, Joesph; O'Sullivan, Maurice; Hamill, Ruth; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11F 026 (Elsevier, 2018-02-01)
      Reported salt levels in whole-muscle cured meat products differ substantially within and among European countries, providing substantial scope for salt reduction across this sector. The objective of this study was to identify the minimum acceptable salt levels in typical whole-muscle cured products in terms of physicochemical, microbial and sensorial properties. Salt levels in a small selection of commercial Irish meat products were determined to establish a baseline for reduction. Subsequently, eight different back bacon rasher and cooked ham products were produced with varying levels of salt: 2.9%, 2.5%, 2% and 1.5% for bacon, and 2%, 1.6%, 1.0% and 0.8% for ham. Salt reduction produced products with significantly harder texture and higher microbial counts, with no difference in the colour and affecting the sensory properties. Nonetheless, salt reduction proved to be feasible to levels of 34% and 19% in bacon and ham products, respectively, compared to baseline.
    • Towards More Sustainable Meat Products: Extenders as a Way of Reducing Meat Content

      Pintado, Tatiana; Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo (MDPI AG, 2020-08-03)
      The low efficiency of animal protein (meat products) production is one of the main concerns for sustainable food production. However, meat provides high-quality protein among other compounds such as minerals or vitamins. The use of meat extenders, non-meat substances with high protein content, to partially replace meat, offers interesting opportunities towards the reformulation of healthier and more sustainable meat products. The objective of this review is to give a general point of view on what type of compounds are used as meat extenders and how they affect the physicochemical and sensory properties of reformulated products. Plant-based ingredients (pulses, cereals, tubers and fruits) have been widely used to replace up to 50% of meat. Mushrooms allow for higher proportions of meat substitution, with adequate results in reduced-sodium reformulated products. Insects and by-products from the food industry are novel approaches that present an opportunity to develop more sustainable meat products. In general, the use of meat extenders improves the yield of the products, with slight sensory modifications. These multiple possibilities make meat extenders’ use the most viable and interesting approach towards the production of healthier meat products with less environmental impact.