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Metabolomic approach to the identification of robust markers for the detection of mechanically separated meat (MSM) in meat products.
Project Code: Q01102
School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London
Bramley, P ; Patel, R; Fraser, P; Halket, J; Surowiec, I; Jiye, A
Mechanically separated meat (MSM) is defined as “product obtained by removing meat from flesh-bearing bones after deboning or from poultry carcasses, using mechanical means resulting in the loss or modification of the muscle fibre structure”. These alterations in muscle fibre structure mean that MSM does not possess the typical texture of meat and MSM is therefore often used in meat products where the texture of the meat is not a necessary quality in the finished product. MSM is excluded from the legal definition of meat for labelling purposes and cannot be counted towards the meat content declaration required for meat products. In addition, MSM must be separately labelled in the ingredients. To enforce these legal requirements and protect to consumers from misdescribed products, a method to distinguish MSM from meat in meat products is needed. Previous studies have been unable to find a marker to reliably distinguish MSM from meat in a meat product, and currently MSM can only be identified at the raw ingredient stage. The aim of this project was to use advanced laboratory techniques and predictive models to identify potential markers for MSM and to develop a test to identify MSM, even when mixed with other ingredients.
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