McGill University researchers in conjunction with Agriculture Canada and the Canadian pork industry have been investigating spectroscopy to evaluate pork texture, moisture and other lean-muscle attributes.

According to a report in Meatingplace.com, the researchers say the study is about giving meat industry workers better tools to do their job. Michael Ngadi of McGill’s Department of Bioresource Engineering says that by incorporating computer-aided analysis of muscle, meat processing can optimize production and create products that are more closely aligned to a market’s needs.

The technology uses spectroscopy, which is based on the analysis of the wavelengths of visible and invisible light produced by matter, reports Meatinplace.com. The researchers found that by measuring the wavelengths of reflected light that pork cuts release, they could determine the color, texture and exudation, or water-holding capacity, of the muscle.

“The technique enables production workers to conduct objective and scientific analysis of the meat quickly on the production line,” noted Ngadi. In the end, the process could more accurately sort meat cuts by quality traits that best accommodate a specific export market..

"We are looking for partners who will work with us to build a ready-to-use device for a commercial production line,” Ngadi said. The researchers are also looking to extend the technique to evaluate other aspects of meat quality, such as marbling and fat content.

Source: PORK Magazine, Meatingplace.com