Measurement of meat traits using prediction tools is a challenge for the meat industry as the associated technology must be robust, produce accurate and reliable predictions and be relatively easy to use. Spectroscopy technologies carry out measurements using a wide range of potential wavelengths and extesive research has been carried out with the aim of evaluating various possible wavelengths. Near infra red has been one of the most promising wavelengths, and hence research in this area has been separately summarised.
This summary focusses on generic and non NIR wavelength spectroscopy research.
In the 2005 project SNGIP.016B, the potential of multi wavelength spectroscopy as a rapid on line diagnostic tool to cost efficiently measure carcass muscle glycogen and lactate status within 30 minutes post slaughter to predict ultimate pH and meat colour was evaluated.
In project A.MQT.0057, consideration was given to the application of impedance spectroscopy for predicting the tenderness of lamb. As it stands the technology improved on previous impedance studies by using 4 current electrodes and by undertaking 3 scans in very high resolution at each measurement time. The results suggested that differences in tenderness between samples are reflected by changes in impedance. Thus the technology could be used to screen meat into say tough and tender categories at 1 day post-mortem, but the ability to predict 5 day shear force from 1 day impedance measures was not totally consistent.
In the 2013/2014 projects A.MQA.0010 and A.MQA.0002, the use of a hand held Raman spectroscopy probe for the measurement of meat quality was investigated, with a specific focus on measuring shear force.