PhD student scoops national prize for meat quality research

March 20, 2012

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PhD student Fiona Anderson (left) and Michelle Edge from the Australian Meat Processor Corporation

A Murdoch University PhD student has received national recognition for her investigation into meat quality at the prestigious Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Dr Fiona Anderson received $22,000 for her research, which focuses on the delicate balance between genetic selection to improve lean lamb and the maintenance of the nutritional value and quality of premium products.

“Recent evidence suggests that genetic selection breeding is successful in re-distributing muscle from the lamb’s forequarter to the loin region,” Dr Anderson said.

“While increasing the size of the loin is excellent for the industry financially, the impact this may have on muscle biology, metabolism and meat quality is unknown.”

Dr Anderson will collect muscle samples from the forequarter, loin and hind leg from genetically high and low yielding carcasses to determine difference in muscle metabolism and fibre type.

“I will be examining whether increasing yield negatively impacts the processing, eating and nutritive quality of the meat, which is a key concern for industry,” she said.

Dr Anderson aims to complete the project over the next 12 months, and hopes to integrate the research into her PhD research.

The awards are run and judged by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences and Dr Anderson’s prize was sponsored by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.

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