26 October 2021 | Story Leonie Bolleurs | Photo Leonie Bolleurs
Beef was evaluated for juiciness, flavor, tenderness and overall acceptability. Preparing the meat for evaluation is Lize van Wyngaard, post doc in Meat Science.

Lekker! That is the world that comes to mind for any South African meat lover, when it is time for a braai or just the Sunday afternoon roast. With meat as the key ingredient, it is important that the piece of beef is of good quality. 

With the direction of Prof Arno Hugo, the Meat and Dairy Science Unit of the UFS Department of Animal Science in collaboration with the Department of Sustainable Food Systems and Development, presented the Beef Brands Competition on the Bloemfontein Campus. The SA Feedlot Association (SAFA) and the African Lifestock Trade Fair (ALFA) sponsored the competition. 

Quality beef

Prof Hugo believes branding is an excellent method of providing the consumer with beef of consistent high quality. “It is usually part of a total quality management programme that include genetics, feeding, transport of animals, pre-slaughter handling, the slaughter process, post-slaughter handling, the cold chain, packaging, display and education of the consumer on meat preparation. Improved animal welfare and eating quality of beef are the major outcomes of branding,” he explains. 

The facilities of the UFSs modern Sensory Analysis Laboratory were used to evaluate all entries for juiciness, flavor, tenderness, and overall acceptability. Entrants were also judged on the physical tenderness and % marbling of their beef.

Tasting good

According to Prof Hugo, sensory analyses is key in determining the eating quality of the product. “Meat can be produced under very good animal welfare conditions and it can have excellent microbiological quality, nutritional value and appearance but if it does not taste good, the consumers will not buy it again,” he adds. 

He is of the opinion that a national competition like this is excellent marketing for the UFS’ Sensory Laboratory; the previous competition received more than 400 000 views on YouTube. 

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