European Trip Provides Insight Into Industry Trends

AUSTRALIA - Department of Agriculture and Food pig researcher Megan Trezona Murray has returned from a trip to Europe where she gained an insight into advances in meat processing and market trends.
calendar icon 29 March 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Dr Megan Trezona Murray conducting pork quality measurements, after returning from a European study tour.

Dr Trezona Murray travelled to Denmark where she attended an international meat conference and undertook a specialised meat science course.

“The course was really valuable and made me more aware of the different things that affect meat quality, not just on-farm but also during meat processing, storage and display,” she said.

“It will really support the work I do in the processing sector here at home.”

Dr Trezona Murray said the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology conference was also informative.

“The European pig meat market is very different to our own,” she said. “They produce larger animals of about 110 kilograms, compared with 95 kilograms demanded by WA supermarkets, to supply a larger range and volume of fresh pork and pork products, like sausages and salamis.

“It was also fascinating to see the extensive use of robotics in European processing facilities.

“Also of interest was Europe’s recent adoption of the castration vaccine Improvac®, which was developed in Australia by the private and public sector, including the department. This has been used by our local industry for a number of years to eliminate boar taint in pork from entire male pigs.”

While in the United Kingdom, Dr Trezona Murray visited Newcastle University which is working on new farrowing housing systems.

“The university is developing a welfare-friendly farrowing pen for indoor producers that provides the sow with a nesting area and is also economically viable,” she said.

“Newcastle University is also a key contributor to the Q-Pork initiative – a large research project involving 49 research partners across 15 European countries, as well as China, South Africa, Brazil and the United States. The project covers all aspects of the pork supply chain and it’s research program is consumer driven.”

Dr Trezona Murray’s trip was co-funded by the department, Australian Pork Limited and the Pork Co-operative Research Centre.

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