• Agriculture, Rural Development and Potential for a ‘Middle Agriculture’ in Ireland

      Macken-Walsh, Aine (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010-03)
      This paper gives a brief overview of current farm viability in Ireland and summarises some of the main ‘barriers’ to farm families’ engagement in contemporary rural development programmes. Against this backdrop, the paper discusses the potential of a middle agriculture model for rural development. The capacity of such a model to address some of the economic, social and cultural predicaments of Irish family farms is outlined. The potential of the model is also discussed in terms of how it may respond to contemporary EC rural development policy priority objectives.
    • Alternative uses for co-products: Harnessing the potential of valuable compounds from meat processing chains

      Mullen, Anne Maria; Álvarez García, Carlos; Zeugolis, Dimitrios; Henchion, Maeve; O'Neill, Eileen; Drummond, Liana; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 11/F/043 (Elsevier, 03/05/2017)
      Opportunities for exploiting the inherent value of protein-rich meat processing co-products, in the context of increased global demand for protein and for sustainable processing systems, are discussed. While direct consumption maybe the most profitable route for some, this approach is influenced greatly by local and cultural traditions. A more profitable and sustainable approach may be found in recognizing this readily available and under-utilised resource can provide high value components, such as proteins, with targeted high value functionality of relevance to a variety of sectors. Applications in food & beverages, petfood biomedical and nutrition arenas are discussed. Utilization of the raw material in its entirety is a necessary underlying principle in this approach to help maintain minimum waste generation. Understanding consumer attitudes to these products, in particular when used in food or beverage systems, is critical in optimizing commercialization strategies.
    • An Assessment of the Irish Speciality Food Enterprises’ use of the Internet as a Marketing Tool

      Canavan, Orla; Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Seamus; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc, 01/04/2005)
      This study set out to explore the role of the Internet as a marketing tool for Irish speciality food producers and to research on-line speciality food sales as a business opportunity. The project achieved this through a combination of consumer focus groups, a producer web audit, producer depth interviews and an e-mailed on-line producer survey. Irish consumers acknowledged potential for on-line sales of Irish speciality food products to export and gift markets; however they could not see significant advantages for on-line sales in the domestic market. Experience with the product (and consequent importance of the purchase experience), the high delivery cost of an already premium priced product and difficulties associated with receipt of deliveries were identified as the main reasons for not purchasing on-line.
    • An assessment of the Irish speciality food enterprises’ use of the internet as a marketing tool

      Canavan, Orla; Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Seamus (Teagasc, 2005-04)
      This study set out to explore the role of the Internet as a marketing tool for Irish speciality food producers and to research on-line speciality food sales as a business opportunity. The project achieved this through a combination of consumer focus groups, a producer web audit, producer depth interviews and an e-mailed on-line producer survey. Irish consumers acknowledged potential for on-line sales of Irish speciality food products to export and gift markets; however they could not see significant advantages for on-line sales in the domestic market. Experience with the product (and consequent importance of the purchase experience), the high delivery cost of an already premium priced product and difficulties associated with receipt of deliveries were identified as the main reasons for not purchasing on-line.
    • Barriers to Change: a Sociological study of Rural Development in Ireland

      Macken-Walsh, Aine; ICERTS Marine Beaufort Marine Award (Teagasc, 01/06/2009)
      Teagasc’s Rural Economy Research Centre (RERC) and Rural Development Advisory Unit initiated a research project in 2006 to investigate the ‘Barriers to Change’ experienced by farmers and fishers in adapting to challenges arising from a changed rural development mandate. Economic models developed by the organisation predicted farmers’ exodus over time from nonviable farming enterprises and in response to shifts towards postproductivist policies. A significant proportion of farmers, however, are continuing with what are officially categorised as nonviable farms and are slow to become involved in economic activities in line with the contemporary rural development agenda. In this light, the ‘Barriers to Change’ project was designed to explore the sociocultural inhibitors to farmers’ engagement. The project also incorporated a casestudy analysis of a fishing community whose members are experiencing similar ‘barriers’.
    • Barriers to uptake of technology in animal production

      Macken-Walsh, Aine (Teagasc, 2019-12-06)
      Presentation from the Joint Teagasc-SRUC Conference "Rural Futures II: Towards sustainable solutions for Ruminant Pastoral Agricultural Systems in Scotland and Ireland"
    • The climatic impact of food consumption in a representative sample of Irish adults and implications for food and nutrition policy

      Hyland, John J.; Henchion, Maeve; McCarthy, Mary; McCarthy, Sinead N.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 13/F/527 (Cambridge University Press, 26/09/2016)
      To evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) associated with the diet of Irish adults. GHGE were estimated by applying conversion factors to habitual food consumption data taken from the National Adult Nutrition Survey, which was representative of the population. Descriptive analyses were undertaken for GHGE for the total population, as well as accounting for energy misreporting and across categories of sociodemographic and socio-economic factors and tertiles of emissions. Republic of Ireland. Adults aged 18–87 years (n 1500). The GHGE derived from daily dietary intakes was estimated as 6·5 kg of CO2 equivalents (CO2eq) per person. Males, younger consumers, those with secondary education and student employment status were associated with significantly higher GHGE. Red meat was the highest contributor to GHGE with 1646 g CO2eq arising from a mean intake of 47 g/d. Dairy and starchy staples were the next largest dietary GHGE sources, with mean daily emissions of 732 g CO2eq and 647 g CO2eq, respectively. The lowest emissions were associated with consumption of vegetables, fruits and legumes/pulses/nuts. Based on profiling using actual food consumption data, it is evident that one single measure is not sufficient and a range of evidence-based mitigation measures with potential to lower emissions throughout the food chain should be considered. The research contributes towards an improved understanding of the climatic impact of the dietary intakes of Irish adults and can serve to inform a sustainability framework to guide action in food and nutrition policy
    • Commercial systems for ultra-rapid chilling of lamb

      Redmond, Grainne; McGeehin, Brian; Henchion, Maeve; Sheridan, James J.; Troy, Declan J.; Cowan, Cathal; Butler, Francis (Teagasc, 2001-08)
      The overall objective was to devise a rapid chilling system for the Irish lamb processing industry. The objective of the first trial was to assess the effect of ultra-rapid chilling in air at - 4ºC, -10ºC and -20ºC and subsequent ageing on the appearance and tenderness of lamb carcasses. The objective of the next trial was to investigate the effect of carcass splitting, which produces faster chilling rates and reduces skeletal constraint of muscles, on the tenderness of rapidly and conventionally chilled lamb. The next task was to compare the effects of immersion chilling and conventional air chilling on meat tenderness and evaporative weight loss in lamb carcasses. The next task was to assess the level of interest in industry. This required costings of the process and a survey of several lamb processors focusing on their perceptions of rapid chilling in general, its advantages and disadvantages, and the implications of adopting the new system. The final objective was to introduce the ultra-rapid chilling process to industry via a factory trial. Lambs were ultra-rapidly chilled and then exported to France for assessment.
    • The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

      Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
    • Complexity and conundrums. Citizens’ evaluations of potentially contentious novel food technologies using a deliberative discourse approach

      Greehy, Grainne M.; McCarthy, Mary; Henchion, Maeve; Dillon, Emma; McCarthy, Sinead N.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Elsevier, 12/07/2013)
      This research considers the processes involved in the formation of attitudes by citizens on potentially contentious novel food technologies (NFTs). Observations of one-to-one deliberative discourses between food scientists and citizens, during which they discussed these technologies, form the basis of this enquiry. This approach enables an exploration of how individuals construct meaning around as well as interpret information about the technologies. Thematic analysis identifies key features that provide the frameworks for citizens’ evaluations. How individuals make sense of these technologies is shaped by their beliefs, values and personal characteristics; their perceptions of power and control over the development and sale of NFT related products; and, the extent to which these products are relevant to their personal lives. Internal negotiations between these influences are evident, and evaluations are based on the relative importance of each influence to the individual. Internal conflicts and tensions are associated with citizens’ evolving evaluative processes, which may in turn present as attitude ambivalence and instability. Many challenges are linked with engaging with the general public about these technologies, as levels of knowledge, understanding and interest vary.
    • Consumer Assessment of Unmet Needs in the Development of Targeted and Appropriate Novel Food for the Over Sixty Fives

      Cummins, Helen; Corish, C. A.; Roche, Helen M.; McCarthy, Sinead N.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2016-09)
      Opportunities exist to produce foods specifically targeted to over 65s in order to promote healthy ageing. These findings have the potential to influence public health and nutrition policy developments in Ireland.
    • Consumer attributes of farmhouse cheese and honey

      Cowan, Cathal; Murphy, Maurice; Daly, Eimear; Meehan, Hilary; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; Delahunty, Conor; O'Reilly, Seamus; European Commission; CT95 -0360 (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      This study determined the ideal combination of attributes of farmhouse cheese (cheddar-type) and farmhouse honey for different consumer segments.
    • Consumer evaluations of processed meat products reformulated to be healthier – A conjoint analysis study

      Shan, Liran C.; de Brun, Aoife; Henchion, Maeve; Li, Chenguan; Murrin, Celine; Wall, Patrick J.; Monahan, Frank J; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 11/F/035 (Elsevier, 01/05/2017)
      Recent innovations in processed meats focus on healthier reformulations through reducing negative constituents and/or adding health beneficial ingredients. This study explored the influence of base meat product (ham, sausages, beef burger), salt and/or fat content (reduced or not), healthy ingredients (omega 3, vitamin E, none), and price (average or higher than average) on consumers' purchase intention and quality judgement of processed meats. A survey (n = 481) using conjoint methodology and cluster analysis was conducted. Price and base meat product were most important for consumers' purchase intention, followed by healthy ingredient and salt and/or fat content. In reformulation, consumers had a preference for ham and sausages over beef burgers, and for reduced salt and/or fat over non reduction. In relation to healthy ingredients, omega 3 was preferred over none, and vitamin E was least preferred. Healthier reformulations improved the perceived healthiness of processed meats. Cluster analyses identified three consumer segments with different product preferences.
    • Consumer perceptions of meat quality

      Cowan, Cathal; Mannion, Michael; Langan, John; Keane, John B. (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This study describes the policies in place for meat quality in six EU states, ascertains the consumer perception of quality for beef, pork and chicken and suggests how quality policy can be improved so it better meets the perceived needs of consumers.
    • The creation of a healthy eating motivation score and its association with food choice and physical activity in a cross sectional sample of Irish adults

      Naughton, Paul; McCarthy, Sinead N.; McCarthy, Mary (Biomed Central, 06/06/2015)
      Background This study aimed to develop a healthy eating motivation score and to determine if dietary, lifestyle and activity behaviours vary across levels of motivation to eat a healthy diet with a view to informing health promotion interventions. Methods A cross-sectional survey of food intake, physical activity, lifestyles and food choice attitudes was conducted in a nationally representative sample of 1262 adults in the Republic of Ireland aged 18 years and over. Results Increasing score for health motivation was significantly and positively related to healthy eating and exercise. Women, increasing age, normal BMI, regular exercise and increasing intakes of fruit and vegetables were associated with a higher odds ratio (OR) for having a high healthy eating motivation score. However, despite a high motivation score only 31 % of consumers in the strong motivation group achieved the recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable consumption, while 57 % achieved the fat recommendation. A higher intake of calorie dense foods from the top shelf of the food pyramid and increased time spent watching T.V. was associated with a decreased OR for positive motivation towards healthy eating. Conclusions Healthy eating promotions directed at women and older adults should focus on supporting people’s motivations to attain a healthy diet by addressing issues such as dietary self-control and self-regulation. For men and younger adults, healthy eating promotions will need to address the issues underlying their weak attitudes towards healthy eating.
    • Development of a Strategic Approach for a Single EU Beef Market. Extensification. An Analysis of National and Competitive Issues

      Dunne, Liam; Shanahan, Ultan; O'Connell, John J. (Teagasc, 31/12/2008)
      The economic merits of the two Options for extensification under Agenda 2000 were evaluated in relation to their ability to generate revenue and their impact on the competitiveness of Irish cattle farming.
    • Diversifying Marine-Based Employment Opportunities in Peripheral Communities

      Heanue, Kevin; European Commission (Teagasc, 01/01/2009)
      This project was a development project connected to an INTERREG sub-programme called the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP). More specifically, this project was funded as an NPP Preparatory Project. The aim of such NPP Preparatory Projects is to facilitate the development of a transnational consortium that may produce an application to the NPP for a main project. Such a main project application will not directly ensue from this Preparatory Project, although it may do so in the future. Nevertheless, there are tangible immediate returns to Teagasc from this Preparatory Project that include 1) the opportunity, if considered appropriate, for Teagasc to join an existing NPP main project in 2011 that promotes a new mechanism to support rural enterprise such as food and tourism in the form of the Economusuem® concept and 2) the establishment of new international and national academic and agency contacts working in the area of local development.
    • Does supplementation with leucine-enriched protein alone and in combination with fish-oil-derived n–3 PUFA affect muscle mass, strength, physical performance, and muscle protein synthesis in well-nourished older adults? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

      Murphy, Caoileann H; Flanagan, Ellen M; De Vito, Giuseppe; Susta, Davide; Mitchelson, Kathleen A J; de Marco Castro, Elena; Senden, Joan M G; Goessens, Joy P B; Mikłosz, Agnieszka; Chabowski, Adrian; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-04-19)
      Background Leucine-enriched protein (LEU-PRO) and long-chain (LC) n–3 (ω–3) PUFAs have each been proposed to improve muscle mass and function in older adults, whereas their combination may be more effective than either alone. Objective The impact of LEU-PRO supplementation alone and combined with LC n–3 PUFAs on appendicular lean mass, strength, physical performance and myofibrillar protein synthesis (MyoPS) was investigated in older adults at risk of sarcopenia. Methods This 24-wk, 3-arm parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 107 men and women aged ≥65 y with low muscle mass and/or strength. Twice daily, participants consumed a supplement containing either LEU-PRO (3 g leucine, 10 g protein; n = 38), LEU-PRO plus LC n–3 PUFAs (0.8 g EPA, 1.1 g DHA; LEU-PRO+n–3; n = 38), or an isoenergetic control (CON; n = 31). Appendicular lean mass, handgrip strength, leg strength, physical performance, and circulating metabolic and renal function markers were measured pre-, mid-, and postintervention. Integrated rates of MyoPS were assessed in a subcohort (n = 28). Results Neither LEU-PRO nor LEU-PRO+n–3 supplementation affected appendicular lean mass, handgrip strength, knee extension strength, physical performance or MyoPS. However, isometric knee flexion peak torque (treatment effect: −7.1 Nm; 95% CI: −12.5, −1.8 Nm; P < 0.01) was lower postsupplementation in LEU-PRO+n–3 compared with CON. Serum triacylglycerol and total adiponectin concentrations were lower, and HOMA-IR was higher, in LEU-PRO+n–3 compared with CON postsupplementation (all P < 0.05). Estimated glomerular filtration rate was higher and cystatin c was lower in LEU-PRO and LEU-PRO+n–3 postsupplementation compared with CON (all P < 0.05). Conclusions Contrary to our hypothesis, we did not observe a beneficial effect of LEU-PRO supplementation alone or combined with LC n–3 PUFA supplementation on appendicular lean mass, strength, physical performance or MyoPS in older adults at risk of sarcopenia. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03429491.
    • Ethical, moral and social dimensions in farm production practices: a segmentation study to assess Irish consumers’ perceptions of meat quality

      Regan, Aine; Henchion, Maeve; McIntyre, Bridin (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-03-09)
      Growing consumer concerns with modern farming and food production systems indicate a significant market opportunity for meat production practices that consider ethical, moral and social value traits. In the current study, we aimed to identify and characterise distinct segments of Irish consumers based on their perceptions of the quality of meat from different farm-level production practices (organic farming, high animal welfare standards, free range farming, and “natural”, treatment-free feeding regimes). An online survey was carried out with 251 Irish meat consumers. Using cluster analysis, we identified three distinct segments: “Target consumers”, “Purist consumers” and “Disinterested consumers”. Chi-square analyses revealed differences between the segments based on gender, age and meat-purchasing motivations. The results provide insight into the opportunities that exist for exploring new viable market segments as well as for engaging Irish consumers and empowering them with information around the ethical, social and moral aspects of farm-level practices related to meat production.
    • Evaluation of beef eating quality by Irish consumers

      McCarthy, Sinead N.; Henchion, Maeve; White, A.; Brandon, K.; Allen, Paul; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 04/R&D/TN/256 (Elsevier, 08/05/2017)
      A consumer's decision to purchase beef is strongly linked to its sensory properties and consistent eating quality is one of the most important attributes. Consumer taste panels were held according to the Meat Standards Australia guidelines and consumers scored beef according to its palatability attributes and completed a socio-demographic questionnaire. Consumers were able to distinguish between beef quality on a scale from unsatisfactory to premium with high accuracy. Premium cuts of beef scored significantly higher on all of the scales compared to poorer quality cuts. Men rated grilled beef higher on juiciness and flavour scales compared to women. Being the main purchaser of beef had no impact on rating scores. Overall the results show that consumers can judge eating quality with high accuracy. Further research is needed to determine how best to communicate inherent benefits that are not visible into extrinsic eating quality indicators, to provide the consumer with consistent indications of quality at the point of purchase.