Thoughts on beef quality from Scotland

C Maltin, C Craigie, R I Richardson, A Green, A Picken, R Roehe, D Ross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This review considers beef eating quality from the perspective of the Scottish Beef Industry and discusses some of the technologies being developed within industry and the opportunities arising from their use.

Beef production is very important to Scottish agriculture and to the Scottish economy. The quality of Scotch beef is therefore a focus for the Scottish industry. The growth of muscle and its conversion to meat is a complex process and can lead to variability in product quality. The aim of producing and processing beef is to provide a good eating experience for consumers, hence although farmers are paid according to carcase quality and weight; it is the eating quality of the product which must remain paramount in order to drive continued growth in sales. However, although application of best practice in both production and processing is important for the production of meat of consistently high eating quality, the evidence shows that some variability in eating quality will remain. Hence, it is clear that prescription of parameters such as aging time and processing protocol cannot offer a guarantee of eating quality for consumers.

What is needed is a means of measuring eating quality in the abattoir at line speed so that a guarantee of eating quality can be provided for consumers. Recent technological advances mean that this may now be possible, and Quality Meat Scotland and the Scottish Government have invested in a 3 year programme to carry out research and development towards and Integrated Measurement of Eating Quality (IMEQ). The project is now entering its final year and this review will examine the underlying rational for the project, will discuss some of the findings to date and will consider opportunities for the industry arising from the ability to assess eating quality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Beef Quality
EditorsJD Wood
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781899043491
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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