WMC Michelle LeMaster won the IMS Prize
The international meat industry faces a crucial need to attract young talents, and the everlasting truth “first you add knowledge” is more relevant than ever. It was therefore a pleasant surprise for the IMS prize committee to receive more than 140 applicants for the prestigious IMS prize for young talents in meat science and technology. The applicants are being evaluated by their poster contribution at the last international congress of meat science and technology hosted by Teagasc in Cork, Ireland. The winner Michelle LeMaster has now received the official award at the IMS World Meat Congress in Dallas, USA, May 30 to June 1 2018, and has also given a short plenary presentation at the event.
The three best contributions were from Mr. Carlos Álvarez, Teagasc Food research Centre, Ireland, and Ms. Madison Corlett, Murdoch University, Australia, with brilliant work on novel technology to recover plasma from blood and new cost efficient and consumer orientated colour measurement of lamb, respectively. But the winner was Ms. Michelle LeMaster, Ohio State University, USA, with “Potassium carbonate improves fresh pork quality”.
The trend towards clean label products is extremely strong and the search for alternative and preferably natural ingredients is intense. There is some concern relating to phosphates and human health regarding cardiovascular diseases and individuals with chronical renal disorders, and consumers may start to question the content of phosphates in meat products.
It is though not trivial to replace phosphate in meat products as many basic sensory attributes appreciated by the consumers relate to phosphate. In this context the scientific committee particularly liked the systematic approach to replace phosphate with potassium carbonate, which is widely used in the bakery industry (known as potash). Results are based on good scientific work and are presented in a way, where the industry can start look into how to adapt and apply the findings.
The global meat industry needs more science based knowledge to respond to the many challenges the meat industry is facing e.g. lowering the environmental foot print, improved health attributes, animal welfare and work environment.