Although the figure has gone down slightly in recent years, every German consumes around 86 kilograms of meat on average per year. The consumption per capita in Austria is around 100 kilograms, while the USA is the front runner with 120 kilograms. A large part of the meat products that reach households is now packed in film. It is now the task of the experts from science and industry to assess, what interaction arises between the films used and the food products, and which recommendations can be derived for use in practice.
The first stage is to analyse a wide range of packaging materials from conventional as well as sustainable and resource-saving raw materials, and then to characterise these as regards their mechanical properties, barrier function and pack integrity. In the second phase, the focus will then be placed on the interaction between the tested materials and the meat products. By measuring colour, texture, bacteria count and fats, those involved in the project expect to gain extensive knowledge about the effect of the packaging materials on the shelf life of the food, as well as about which films are best at keeping the meat fresh. The third stage of the project will then clarify, how this knowledge can be applied in practice. It is here, that MULTIVAC can bring its expertise on packs, packaging machines and the whole packaging procedure, and it will also carry out sample productions, including the manufacture of suitable machine dies, in its corporate Training & Innovation Center at the company's headquarters in Wolfertschwenden.
Consideration of the ecological and resource-saving criteria when packing food and fresh meat is very important to the packaging machine manufacturer, which operates worldwide but is still rooted in the Allgäu region of Germany - and this concern is also shared by all the partners in the Quali Meat project. “We are also fully committed in this important project to developing new methods for quality control and to creating expert knowledge within the organisation, so that we can achieve greater technical networking between academic institutions and partner companies,” explains Stefan Scheibel, Senior Director of the Corporate Training & Innovation Center.
The primary aim of the project is to significantly increase safety for consumers by using the most suitable types of packaging. Stefan Scheibel adds: “The expansion of a network of experts in the meat sector will also lead to a systematic, ongoing improvement in the packaging procedure for food, as well as increasing the added value for food products generally.” In addition to this, Quali Meat will also aid the development of regions within Bavaria and Tyrol.
Further information at www.qualimeat.eu
MULTIVAC supports an international research project for food safety
The Quali Meat project, which is a three-year research project involving Bavaria and Austria, started recently with funding of one million euros. As part of a three-stage process under the leadership of the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), the five project partners from science and industry, which also include MULTIVAC, will research the interaction between packaging materials and the packaged product. The declared aim of the project is to develop packs, which can keep meat fresh for longer and increase safety for consumers.