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Brazil beef quality certification: standardization for beef palatability


Brazil has global importance as a beef producer and exporter. The complex of beef currently represents one the largest gross value of Brazilian agricultural production. In large part, this is a result of a substantial domestic meat market in the country. Because of these characteristics, the commercial innovations in this sector have large commercial potential. There is an increasing trend of consumers to give value for quality indicators in products. In the beef sector, such initiatives are linked to some "beef brands" and " meat boutique". It is known in Meat Science that empirical monitoring of these variables are not enough to guarantee meat tenderness, juiciness and flavor. For this purpose, it is essential to associate knowledge of meat science, statistics and sensory tests with consumers in a standardization process that considers factors pre and post-slaughter, as successfully performed by certification programs abroad. Organoleptic requirements of Brazilian consumers are different, as well as the production system features in the country unfeasible to use the classification systems for palatability from temperate countries. For this purpose, the information obtained in the sensory tests with consumers in the state of São Paulo will be evaluated statistically with animal information, the carcass characteristics and industrial processes (eg, maturity) for the development of a palatability prediction equation for national conditions. The program derived from this proposal will be the second in the world to perform this type of quality assurance certification based on consumer preferences, with rigorous scientific criteria and applicable to the commercial level. The application this certification can catalyze substantial changes in the meat industry, boosting revenues for distribution of value to all involved (i.e., producers, slaughterhouses and retailers). This proposal aims to develop a certification and classification system for palatability of meat using scientific and statistical concepts associated with consumer expectations in Brazil. The resulting product (certification label) may be used in meat considered by consumers as good, very good and excellent quality (associated palatability), marketed by supermarkets, butchers, foodservice, boutiques meat and brands interested in adhering to the Brazil Beef Quality program (BBQ). (AU)

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