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Whole carcass map – an alternate high value model for fabrication based on nutritive values

Project start date: 10 October 2018
Project end date: 08 August 2019
Publication date: 30 September 2018
Project status: In progress
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: National


‘Personalised nutrition’ is becoming a key driver for food choice, and some consumers specifically select foods that are nutrient-dense.

This project tested and confirmed the assumption that athletes and older consumers would pay a premium price for beef and lamb cuts if they were marketed to suit their diet and lifestyle.

The top five meat functionalities for both consumer groups were: general health, taste, muscle strength, joint health and digestibility; and the top nutrients include fat, collagen and iron content.


This project aimed to explore ‘sensing platforms’ to predict the nutritive quality of meat and explore a new model for marketing meat to target consumers who desire food for fuel rather than just taste.

Key findings

• Labelling packaged beef and lamb with proven functions or nutrients can increase the willingness of some consumers to pay more for red meat products.

• 72% of athletes and 69% of active, older consumers are willing to pay a premium for beef and lamb labelled with an indicator of their nutritional attributes.

• The consumers surveyed were willing to pay approximately 10% to 67% more for nutrient-specific meat products

Benefits to industry

Premium prices can be validated by labelling packaged beef with functional and/or nutritional information, as well as producing beef or lamb to meet demographic and lifestyle requirements.

MLA action

• MLA is now developing a proof-of-concept in partnership with AgResearch Ltd. to partially validate the technical feasibility of ‘carcase mapping’ for wellness and nutritive indicators in up to four cuts of red meat under different consumer eating settings, such as different age groups and fitness types. Sampling will be coordinated with the Meat Standards Australia pathways team.

• MLA is also undertaking a second project to validate the desirability and value proposition of these products, aiming to identify target consumers, market access and capturing value for the Australian red meat industry.

Future research

Performing a cost benefit analysis and identifying barriers for mapping and positioning red meat with wellness and nutritive contents would inform a business case to pitch for an MLA Donor Company partnership with an industry provider and take the products to market.

More information

Project manager: Michael Lee
Primary researcher: AgResearch Ltd.