Murdoch researcher takes part in Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program

December 15, 2014

A meat quality researcher from Murdoch University was one of 15 people selected to participate in the 2014 Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program, a joint initiative of the Australian Department of Industry and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

The program is supported by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund and provides early and mid-career Australian and Chinese researchers with the opportunity to facilitate long term science and research collaborations between Australia and China.

Dr Liselotte Pannier, Post-doctoral Fellow with the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) within the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences spent two weeks in Beijing in November and December as part of the program.

“Murdoch University and the Sheep CRC have been building a relationship with the China Agricultural University due to their specific interest in Australia’s Meat Standards Australia (MSA) cuts-based grading system for beef, lamb and young sheep,” Dr Pannier said.

“The MSA scheme commercially predicts the eating quality of beef, lamb and young sheepmeat cuts by several cooking methods.

“Because of the large trade and investment relationship between both countries, with Australia being the leading red meat importer for China last year, there is a strong interest to understand how the MSA model predicts for Chinese consumers and their specific cooking methods, in addition to those used in Australia.

“The exchange program helped me to build on Murdoch’s relationship with the Chinese Agricultural University and to initiate future collaborative work on assessment of meat eating quality that will involve both Chinese and Australian consumers.”

While in Beijing, Dr Pannier gave presentations on the MSA standards for beef and sheep and ran MSA meat tasting and evaluation sessions with consumers.  She also discussed future collaborations and assisted students with their studies in relation to meat science.

“I gained a lot from the exchange.  I developed new international contacts, met new international collaborators, received a lot of interest from Chinese students keen to potentially conduct a PhD and post-doctoral research in Australia, I gained a better understanding of Chinese culture and a better feel for Chinese consumers in terms of sheep and beef meat consumption,” Dr Pannier said.

Dr Pannier’s work will now compare how Chinese versus Australian consumers taste beef, lamb and young sheepmeat.

“This will assist in more precisely defining the Chinese consumer acceptance of Australian and Chinese beef and sheepmeat and will contribute to better predicting the eating quality for the Chinese consumer market in order to improve the supply of consistently high quality products,” she said.

“The trip to China has been very successful and the collaboration of testing Australian samples in China will start in 2015.”

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