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Main research question/goal
The Optimeat project builds on the Kwalicharc project, in which a model was developed to predict the appreciation of consumers over a piece of cooked or dried ham, salami, pâté, cooked sausage, aspic or chicken. No taste panels were used, only physicochemical lab analyses. The intention is now to expand the designed model and to refine it with samples of the abovementioned processed meat products but with more variation in quality. At the same time, another aim is to develop an easy-to-use computer application targeted for the meat processing companies as a support for product development, prediction of consumer appreciation of the product, and optimization and commercialization of new and existing products. Within this IWT VIS project, ILVO stimulates the meat processing industry to respond more quickly to new trends or specific questions from customers or consumers and to apply innovative technological developments in terms of taste, possibly in combination with clean-label and health-enhancing ingredients.

Research approach
The assessment system for processed meat products is developed further. The sensory parameters (color, smell, texture, etc.) and the analytical parameters (fat, protein, pH, peroxide value, etc.) are selected and analyzed for qualitatively highly differentiated samples from the following processed meat groups: cooked sausage, pâté, salami, cooked ham, dried ham, aspic and chicken breast. These measurements are statistically processed into a model. Per product we calculate the chance that consumers will appreciate a particular sensory parameter. Finally we look along with the participating consortium which parameters should be taken into account in the development of an objective rating system for a new quality label.

The most obvious development is the newly-designed objective rating system for a quality label for processed meat products. This should allow the meat industry to develop a number of benefits such as offering a guarantee for quality and health, building a better image, growth in the market share and strengthening their competitiveness, with an anchoring of the typical Belgian processed meat products as a result.
Effective start/end date1/06/1431/05/18

ID: 4147658