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Food quality

Online prediction of meat quality on the slaughter floor

Butcher Kevin Taukiri measures a carcass with an NIR reader 

Currently there is no quick and cheap online method for measuring meat quality. If such a method was available, meat processors could for example ensure consistent quality to discerning customers and guarantee the quality of high value cuts.

The Food Assurance and Meat Quality team is currently trialling a near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy system under commercial conditions. NIR is a technology that has proven promising as an online system for measuring meat quality.

The development of the NIR system for meat quality measurements is being carried out through a multi-disciplinary approach involving NIR, chemometrics and meat science expertise. The confidence in the system has being gained through trials carried out in collaboration with researchers at Victoria Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, Australia and funding from the New Zealand Foundation of Research, Science & Technology, Beef + Lamb NZ and Meat and Livestock Australia.


 Key information

  • Online assessment of meat quality offers an opportunity for the meat industry to capture more value.
  • Currently, there is no quick, cheap online measurement technology to assess meat quality.
  • AgResearch has an unique opportunity to deliver such a technology to the meat industry.


Prediction of ultimate pH in beef by Near Infrared Spectroscopy - Meat Industry Workshop 2013.pdfPrediction of ultimate pH in beef by Near Infrared Spectroscopy - Meat Industry Workshop 2013