Murdoch researchers lead the way

May 9, 2016

Dr Graham Gardner

Dr Graham Gardner

Murdoch University is leading a new project which will revolutionise Australia’s $12 billion meat industry.

The University has been selected by the Federal Government to deliver next-generation technology to meat producers, suppliers and retailers across the country.

A collaboration involving industry partners will be led by researchers at Murdoch, with Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) as the lead rural research funding provider.

X-ray technology developed at Murdoch and the latest hyperspectral and 3D digital imaging will move the industry to a true value system of accurate measurement and improved quality.

Dr Graham Gardner, Associate Professor at the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, has been chosen to lead the $12.5 million project.

He said: “This project will transform the industry’s competitiveness by creating a feedback and decision making system underpinned by accurate measurement.

“Producers, processors and retailers will all benefit from the new technology. This will lead to lower commercial risk, improved meat quality and increased profits.”

The Government’s Rural Research and Development for Profit program has committed $4.8m in funding.

Industry partners, including Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), will contribute the remainder of the $12.5m project cost.

Dr Gardner believes the investment is collectively worth $100m in efficiency savings to the meat supply industry once they have applied the new technology.

The project has a very clear aim of implementing accuracy and efficiency throughout the entire meat supply chain.

At present, animals are sold based on their weight, not the quality or quantity of meat they provide.

Dr Gardner and his Murdoch research team have developed a system which uses the latest technology to extract maximum value for producers, processors, retailers and consumers.

He has developed a dual x-ray absorptiometer (DEXA), which uses x-rays to accurately measure and differentiate meat from fat and bone. Greater accuracy will lead to higher profitability, as producers will be paid for the meat they deliver.

The funding will pay for the implementation of this technology across the meat supply industry.

Processors will benefit from production improvements, with accurate data ensuring maximum processing efficiency and less waste.

Measurement technologies will also predict eating quality, ensuring retailers can provide greater consistency of quality to consumers.

The project supports Murdoch’s research focus on Food Security, which aims to provide solutions to global challenges.

Professor David Morrison is Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation at Murdoch University. He said: “This is an excellent example of Murdoch’s commitment to translational research.

“Dr Gardner and his research team are using technology developed at Murdoch to enhance and protect the future of one of Australia’s core industries.”

The project is now underway and Dr Gardner and his team are working to implement next generation technology across Australia’s meat supply chain.

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