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Emerging Technologies in Meat Processing - Production, Processing and Technology

This book intends to ‘provide insight into the most promising Emerging Technologies in Meat Processing and provide comprehensive coverage of novel processing, packaging and assessment methods for meat and meat products.’

It is aimed at academic, industrial, nutrition and health professionals. The book consists of a number of published papers in three sections: novel processing techniques; novel packaging and meat functionality; and assessment techniques for meat quality and safety.

The contributions provide a number of well researched chapters, which will be of use to the target audience, although to open with a paper on irradiation of meat and meat products does not fulfil the brief of ‘most promising technologies’. This was an emerging technology when I was a food technology undergraduate 50 years ago and is not approved for meat and meat products in Europe currently; other techniques described are likely to be more practical. The authors of this chapter seem to be frustrated advocates of the technology that would be effective if only public opinion could be changed. This is not to detract from the overall value of the book, which could lead to further developments of some of these technologies by industry or research by academic institutions. Any of the technologies could have potential as new food safety threats emerge, especially as antibiotics are proving less and less effective.

Although the opening chapter by the editors specifically addresses the objective of reviewing meat processing technologies and the reasons for doing so, a number of the technologies described are applicable to a wide range of foodstuffs, not just meat, and this could have been reflected in the title to make it more widely read.

The technologies described in Part I cover a wide and interesting range, from the speculative to the practical and relevant area of robotics.

Part II strangely covers both novel packaging and meat functionality. This provides a useful guide to existing techniques exploring how they could be developed using nanotechnology, with a final chapter on probiotic functionality in meat.

Part III contains some interesting papers on assessment techniques, both laboratory based and in-line, as well as a paper on the topical area of meat authenticity.

The final chapter on regulation and legislative issues does provide a useful context to the potential worldwide application of new technologies.

Overall the book is well put together and well indexed with very few typographical errors.

W J Jermey FIFST, F.Inst.M, Institute of Meat Web: http://instituteofmeat.org/

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