[ASC-media] Media release: 5 star beef brings home bacon

CRCA Media crcamedia at starclass.com.au
Fri May 5 09:43:21 EST 2006


CRCA media release - EMBARGOED until 11 AM Friday May 5th 2006

FIVE STAR BEEF BRINGS HOME THE BACON

A unique beef grading scheme designed and created by the Australian beef industry and research from the Federal Government's Cooperative Research Centre Programme has significantly increased the value of every slice of roast beef, barbecue steak and rib fillet graded through the scheme. 

Underpinned by science conducted by the Beef Cooperative Research Centre, Meat Standards Australia (MSA) is a beef grading scheme which, depending on how the beef is cooked, guarantees tenderness.

A new study has found MSA, a Meat and Livestock Australia initiative, has delivered $159 million to the Australian beef industry between 1999 and 2005 with a projected benefit of almost $85m for the current financial year.  This represents more than three and a half times the total Commonwealth funds provided to the Beef CRC for a period of twenty years through to 2012.

"The value amounts to twenty cents for each kilogram of beef graded through MSA," says Allan Bloxsom, Program Manager of Industry Systems in Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). "At the same time it offers increased consumer benefits from better quality assurance and improved production processes."

Mr Bloxsom says the MSA model is unprecedented in accuracy and takes into account all the Critical Control Points (CCPs) of beef production that impact on palatability.  From the farm to the abattoir and even during the value-adding phase, MSA predicts how well the beef will eat when it is cooked at home by the consumer using a star grading system where 3 star is 'good every day', 4 star is 'better then every day' and 5 star is 'premium'.

"Leading meat sellers are now increasingly using MSA to assess product, and producers in-turn are receiving good returns to produce good quality, guaranteed tender beef."

A new phase for MSA is currently being investigated by the Beef CRC, using research to quantify the effect of novel gene markers for tenderness in terms of consumer taste panel scores. 

"In the future, if an animal has the appropriate gene markers for tenderness or palatability the MSA model could allocate additional points to the individual cuts of meat," says Dr Heather Burrow, CEO of the Beef CRC.

The new research will use data collected by the Beef CRC and MSA, where results for meat quality tests and DNA were collected on a large number of cattle from different experiments.  

"In total, about twenty thousand cattle have been genetically characterised by the Beef CRC," says Dr Burrow, "and this will allow genes for economically important traits to be identified in the Australian herd, and also become indicators for high quality product as part of Meat Standards Australia."

The MSA scheme will be showcased as part of the Cooperative Research Centres Association's Annual Conference, when Mr Allan Bloxsom from Meat & Livestock Australian will speak about MSA at 2.00 pm on Thursday May 18th at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Media note: The Cooperative Research Centres Association's Annual Conference in Brisbane, 17-19 May. Titled "CRCs: Making an Impact", will feature some of the nation's brightest minds including leading scientists, academics, business people and other users of science.

More Information:
Mr Allan Bloxsom (MLA) 02 9463 9333

Dr Heather Burrow (Beef CRC CEO) 02 6773 3795

Mr Warwick Fraser (Beef CRC communications manager) 02 6773 3795 / 0408 77 66 73.

Prof. Julian Cribb, CRCA Media,	0418 639 245

Ms Caroline Jones,(Professional Corporate Conferences) CRCA Conference 02 8850 6796 or www.crca.asn.au/conference


More science stories: http://www.sciencealert.com.au

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