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Eating quality tool - a step closer to commercial reality

AMPC’s investment into South Australian innovation partner MEQ Probe is one step closer to paying dividends for the red meat industry.

The processing sector’s research and development corporation has been providing innovation funding support to MEQ Probe for the past two years with a view to developing a potentially revolutionary tool for measuring eating quality characteristics in hot carcases for both lamb and beef.

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The tool, which is also called MEQ Probe, utilises a blend of physics, chemistry and biology coupled with machine learning to provide meat processors with an objective measure for meat eating quality. The spectral analysis technology takes measurements in a matter of seconds.

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Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC)

The Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) is the Rural Research and Development Corporation (RDC) that supports the red meat processing …
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AMPC CEO Chris Taylor said, “The MEQ Probe is a device that is inserted into the eye muscle adjacent to the ribcage and measures the intramuscular fat (IMF) percentage. It has the potential to allow processors to optimise the allocation of lamb carcases to customers and markets based on their IMF scores, all before the carcase is broken down. It has enormous potential.”

In a tremendous show of support for the technology, prominent southern NSW lamb processor Gundagai Meat Processors (GMP) has recently commenced utilising MEQ probe commercially, and it is already opening doors.

Will Barton, CEO of GMP said, “We are excited to partner with AMPC and with a company like MEQ Probe because they are so focused and aligned with us on the commercialisation of the product. We are now using the intramuscular fat measurements provided by the MEQ Probe to identify premium lamb for our new Gundagai Lamb brand and unlocking new export markets.”

Our partnership with AMPC and Gundagai Meat Processors has been an impactful one. AMPC’s team is very focused on driving commercial impact for its members and open to moving quickly to enable that, which is a big deal for start-ups like MEQ Probe.

Remo Carbone from MEQ Probe

Development of the tool for lamb follows work undertaken by MLA’s ALMTech project, which was supported by a Rural R&D for Profit grant and explored various eating quality measurements.

The commercial application of the tool is timely too. As recently reported by FarmOnline, the lamb intramuscular fat percentage trait has become part of Australia's AUS-MEAT language after gaining approval by the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee.

MEQ Probe is currently working directly with AUS-MEAT to have the tool accredited for measuring IMF in lamb plants.

Following MEQ Probe’s success in lamb, AMPC is now supporting the development of the same measurement tool for measuring marbling in beef carcases, and that project is well underway. It is looking to be accredited in the coming months and will deliver a hot marble value.

The close partnership between AMPC and MEQ probe is leading to even more innovation opportunities, and AMPC is considering four new in-plant traceability projects that are underpinned by MEQ Probe’s artificial intelligence expertise. 

Explore more Australia Meat Processor Corporation commercial opportunities here.

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