Its all about the eating quality

The meat industry might be facing a huge increase in volume, but it needs to ensure it stays on top of eating quality, delegates at the World Meat Congress in South Africa were told.

Dr Mohammad Koohmaraie, CEO of the meat division with IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, said: "We've been hearing a lot about quantity, but not a lot the about quality aspect."

He said that while growing affluence was driving increasing meat consumption, it was also true that the richer people were, the more they expected better quality of meat. He said premium prices were up for grabs: "Consumers will pay a premium if you can guarantee tenderness - there's a direct connection between tenderness and price."

He called on the industry to invest to ensure tenderness of products could be predicted before it reaches the dinner table.

"We need to learn how to control it and we do have the technology to do that. There's no excuse for a consumer to have a bad eating experience."

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