The fight against food waste must apply along the entire value chain and can start already in connection with R&D. It requires new thinking and initiative, but full utilization of resources is an important contribution to reducing food waste.
Animalia, one of the partners in RoBUTCHER are also involved in other R&D projects that also concentrate on meat production. In the project «Enduring Growth! New tools and workflows for risk and contingency management from pig production to pork processing»( EG!) and RoBUTCHER, an opportunity was found to make better use of resources.
Warm cutting of carcass
The RoBUTCHER project is developing a slaughter robot where the cutting process takes place while the carcass is still warm. This method is not conventional in Norway, normally cutting takes place after cooling. Because the pigs used in RoBUTCHER do not follow a normal cooling regime, they are particularly suitable for quality testing. Therefore, a collaboration was initiated between RoBUTCHER and EG! to make better use of carcasses.
Quality deviation in ham
The «EG!»- project examines the effect of various factors on an increasing problem of quality deviations in ham. Typical symptoms of quality deviations are low PH in the meat, pale colour, dissolved muscle structure, reduced firmness, and increased drip loss. It is unclear how these quality deviations occur. These problems are probably a result of several factors, where cooling of the carcass was one of the factors the project wanted to investigate.
Tests related to cooling were done parallel with workshops in the RoBUTCHER- project at NMBU. In RoBUTCHER there are performed regular workshops involving the cutting of pigs in the meat factory cell (MFC). After the carcasses were cut in the MFC, the hams were then handed over to the project group to EG! and testing related to cooling was performed.