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Project: OPTIDRYBEEF - Safe and qualitative dry aging of beef

VIS/CO: Collectief onderzoek van Vlaamse Innovatiesamenwerkingsverbanden
01/07/2016
30/06/2018

This project aims at providing a comprehensive review of the dry aging process. Thereby, critical process conditions will be laid down within which it is possible to produce a safe, tasty and economical dry aged product.

- For this purpose, a variety of dry aging processes will be carried out by the participating partners. Within these experiments, the parameters of dry aging chambers (relative humidity, temperature), the duration of aging and choice of the raw materials (e.g. type of animal, fat cover) will be varied.
- In addition to the recording of all process parameters, microbiological and sensory monitoring of the meat during the dry aging process will be carried out. The likelihood of pathogens (Salmonella, Shigatoxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and Listeria monocytogenes) to survive and/or grow during the dry aging process and in consumer packaging will be determined for evaluating the safety of the process.
- Furthermore, for this purpose, the hygienic status of the dry aging chambers will be characterized. To get more profound insights on the impact of dry-aging on aroma formation potential, taste panel analyses will be supported by chemical- analytical measurements of meat composition and quality, and detailed GC-MS analyses of the aroma profile will be conducted.
- In addition to optimizing the process, further processing of crust is examined to improve the economics of the process.

The overall expected outcome of the present project is to provide the participating companies and the European food sector with data supporting the production of high-quality and safe dry aged meat products.

Dry aged beef is a high-quality and highly priced product with a strongly increasing production rate. This trend will be pushed forward by a change in consumer demand towards high-quality products. The meat and associated supply industry of which the majority is SME´s, will be supported by this proposal to address this demand and to take advantage of this.

- Due to this project the machine builders will gain more knowledge about the influence of production parameters on safety and quality of the end product and can therefore better advice there customers and set an efficient working regime for their dry aging chambers.
- The beef/meat producers can use the information, to optimize the production process to achieve a more economical process, or to start the production of dry aged beef or meat in general.
- Furthermore, this project will contribute to a better image for the whole meat industry, since a more tender meat product with an exclusive aroma can be produced if the dry aging process is applied correctly.

OPTIDRYBEEF is an interdisciplinary project which will focus on process innovation and translation in the development of a specific food processing technology, with the potential to impact a broad range of stakeholders in the meat chain both on a national and international level: safe and qualitative dry aging of meat.

Several questions have arisen in the meat industry regarding dry aging of beef in recent years. These questions generally refer to gaining more insight into the characteristics of dry aged beef, more specifically:

- the sensory quality,
- safety,
- the ideal process conditions

All in order to bring a high quality and safe product into the market. OPTIDRYBEEF focuses on a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of the dry aging process to introduce dry aged beef as a high-quality product into the meat producing chain to strengthen the meat industry at the level of butchers, restaurants, caterers and supplying industry.

Flanders' FOOD
Jessica Devos
Voedingsmicrobiologie / Toxicologie / Kwaliteitscontrole
Elien Danckaerts
Luc Larmuseau (iLLumoo)
http://www.flandersfood.com/projecten/optidrybeef
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