<li> Enhance palatability, processing, and marketing of beef by studying instrument grading, beef flavor and tenderness technologies, and carcass cutting strategies
<li> Develop science-rooted strategies and technologies to reduce foodborne illness and improve the effectiveness of policies related to food safety and trade.
<li> Determine factors influencing domestic and international consumer preferences for beef.
<li> Assess supply chain management strategies to identify and overcome barriers that interfere with the transmission of consumer preferences to producers <li> Evaluate the cost/benefit of traceability and assess its value in market-based programs </ol>
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Food safety research leading to implementation of interventions will be emphasized, particularly with regard to emerging microbiological issues (e.g., Multi-Drug Resistant Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Johne's disease, zoonotic animal diseases, etc.) using molecular techniques. Investigators will identify ambiguity in meaning regarding terms of trade, and characterize deficiencies with trading-partner definitions. Studies to improve market access for beef products in export destinations will be conducted primarily to address bilateral technical barriers to trade, with initial emphasis on improving market access for U.S. meats. For the instrument grading technology research, projects will be conducted to demonstrate proof of concept. This will entail evaluating beef steaks varying widely in tenderness. Appropriate software will be developed based on these results. Industry prototypes will be constructed and tested for the most promising approaches. In-plant validation will complete this initiative.
APPROACH: Multiple projects will utilize well-known protocols for measuring microbiological, quality, and desireability aspects associated with red meats. Bioassays will be utilized for measuring TSE transmissability. Additionally, novel molecular, enzymatic and immunochemical approaches to address food safety, trade, and quality issues will be incorporated including, but not limited to, PCR, Western blot, ELISA, PFGE, ribotyping, etc. Instrument studies will initiate use of new technologies which include measures of degradative enzyme activities and high-resolution digital imaging.