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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Published: 31 May 2018

TIA is helping to strengthen Australia’s international reputation for exporting premium quality lamb and beef, mainly to Japan, US and Korea. China is a rapidly growing market.

Dr Mandeep Kaur and her team investigated how time, temperature, microbiology and biochemistry of meat affects its shelf life, especially for vacuum-packed chilled beef.

A computer model was developed that applies shipping temperature records to estimate shelf life. Using the Australian-Chinese supply chain as an example, the temperatures that red meat is exposed to during the transportation process were tested, from Australian processor to Chinese customer.

CSIRO and Shandong University of Agriculture field-tested the techniques developed by TIA, and found they justify extending the shelf-life limit for Australian vacuum-packed chilled beef to 140 days. This would nearly double the current shelf-life for exports to Japan, offering greater flexibility to growers and processors.

The research was funded by Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.