RP2: Meat Tenderness

RP2: Meat Tenderness

There remains a high level of variability in meat tenderness with, statistically, 20% of steaks being unacceptable from an eating quality perspective. There is a need, therefore, to define best practice in tenderness outcome management systems in processing beef and sheep meat carcasses. The MTI research plan for Pillar 2 is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the influence of pre- and post-rigor factors influential on tenderness development in the commercial setting and provide a means to apply this information to guide meat management systems for Irish processors.

Programme Lead

Declan J. Troy is the Assistant Director of Research, Teagasc – The Irish Agriculture and Development Authority. He also is Director of Technology and Knowledge Transfer for the Teagasc Food Programme and is Head of the Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre.

During this career he has published over 150 scientific peer reviewed publications, books, book chapters and scientific articles, mainly in the area of meat quality. The main focus of his research is on the biochemistry of muscle proteins and their role in meat tenderness. Declan has always encouraged the up-take of science-based innovations by the food industry and has interacted widely with the sector to this end. His work has contributed to the introduction of new technologies at industrial level particularly in Irelands competitive beef sector. In 2017 he was awarded the American Meat Science Association’s International Award. He has collaborated in his research programme with many different research groups from Europe and all around the world including Australia, Korea, New Zealand, Uruguay, China, Brazil and of course the USA.

Declan has fostered highly successful international collaborations and exchange of knowledge in food science by coordinated EU and nationally funded research projects worth more than €90 million that supported 135 PhD students globally in different laboratories at collaborating institutions. Most recently he has been appointed as the Director of the Consumer Food Centre in Teagasc funded by DAFM.

Declan sits on many national and international committees formulating research priorities in food science and advising state agencies and companies. He is currently a member of the UNECE Working Group on Meat Quality.   He was Chairman of the World Congress of Food Science and Technology 2016 (IUFoST 2016) in Dublin in his capacity as President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland. He has also been appointed (2019) as head of the International Secretariat of the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) of which he was chair both in 2006 (Dublin) and 2017 (Cork) and he is the Academic Leader of Meat Technology Ireland (MTI) as well as Pillar Lead of RP2.