Which are the best pieces of pork – the secrets pigs keep from even the most skilled butchers – are about to be revealed, thanks to a new technique that has been developed by McGill University researchers in conjunction with Agriculture Canada and the pork industry.
This was about giving industry workers better tools to do their job, explained Dr. Michael Ngadi of McGill’s Department of Bioresource Engineering. Computer-aided analysis of meat would result in higher-quality jobs, optimal production, and exports that fit more closely with the target markets.
The technology involves spectroscopy, a technique based on the analysis of the wavelengths of visible and invisible light produced by matter. By measuring the wavelengths of reflected light that pork cuts release, the researchers discovered they could easily determine the colour, texture and exudation (water release) of the meat. The technique is revolutionary, as previous laboratory techniques had involved destroying the testing sample. The technique enabled production workers to conduct objective and scientific analysis of the meat very quickly on the production line, Dr. Ngadi said. It means the meat can be more accurately sorted according to the quality demanded by different export markets.
This study was part of a project supported by funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada and le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies.
Source: Mc Gill University