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Design and deliver novel meat extract concepts

Did you know that developing natural meat flavour products from low value red meat cuts and offal can increase the value of the carcase?

Project start date: 20 March 2019
Project end date: 31 August 2019
Publication date: 21 October 2019
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: National

Summary

Typically, meat flavour products are made from broken-down vegetable protein powders that aim to mimic "meat". However, it is now possible to increase the value of the red meat value chain by developing natural, unprocessed flavour ingredients for sauces, seasoning and snacks; essentially taking the flavour of cooked red meat and "bottling it".

This project investigated the opportunities for developing natural meat flavour products from low-value red meat cuts and organs, by determining what consumers find desirable and then using that information to design feasible product prototypes.

The results of this project identified pathways for making effective and profitable products from red meat, which include stocks, sauces, gravies and snacks.

Objectives

The overall objective of this project was to evaluate the possibility of making prototypes of flavourful products from red meat offcuts and by-products, with a focus on key flavours desired by consumers, feasible taste-extraction methods and marketability in Australia.

Key findings

  • Initial results suggest that efficient and profitable products could include savoury-flavoured table-top condiments with popular umami flavours, which can meet or exceed MLA's target of raw material cost-to-product sales price ratio of at least three times the expected rate.
  • These products could also be incorporated with important micro- and macro- nutrients to target a wider consumer population.
  • The existing database of flavour compounds has been further improved by incorporating new data, including information on consumer taste preferences.
  • Meat-based flavours can be used to simulate appetite by increasing the sensory appeal of food.

Benefits to industry

These natural meat flavour products can help expand the range and frequency of opportunities to consume meat and increase consumption by those who currently are not choosing to consume intact muscle (steaks, chops, roasts etc). Enhancing consumers' sensory experience with natural meat flavours will help transform and deliver higher value meat solutions for the Australian red meat industry.

MLA action

MLA is exploring new methods to map the carcase for desirable products and other uses, such as wellness traits. Understanding the 'size of the prize' beyond typical meat trading and identifying the key players in the food-ingredient value chains requires further investigation from the industry.

Future MLA projects will focus on identifying early adopters, communicating the value proposition to industry and defining the point of difference for inclusion of Australian red meat as "food-ingredients" on the global stage. This initiative is an example of how the Australian red meat industry could improve economic value and move to a zero-waste model.

Future research

Typically, 20% of the carcase represents 80% of the value. Therefore, there is an opportunity to maximise carcase utilisation and capture additional value by further mapping and harvesting its properties to meet consumer needs.

Flavour extraction approaches that are feasible and measurable also require further investigation, including an emphasis on commercial procedures that address manufacturing and other costs associated with unit operations.

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: AgResearch Limited