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The export of beef has increased a lot over the last few years, both in Europe and in the rest of the world, and particularly in the Middle East countries. Among these countries, Lebanon.
Following a visit organized by ANAFRIC to this country and with beef cattle entrepreneurs, demand came from the Lebanese meat traders who requested fresh beef with a shelf life of more than 80 days.
Thus, the challenge was served: to extend the commercial life of beef cattle cooling, vacuum packaged, to dedicate it to export and lasting 84 days, explained Carolina Cucurella, responsible for the technical area at ANAFRIC for those attending the Meat Forum that took place on October 9 in Girona.
From this challenge, ANAFRIC, next to General Cárnia, the Viñas Group and the IRTA, put their hands on the work. The first thing we had to do was establish a uniform protocol for both companies, since we have different ways of working, explained Guillem de Planell, responsible for the quality of the Viñas Group.
Once this protocol was established and based on a quality raw material, we start to work, and immediately we noticed that the pH, packaging and the temperature of conservation were the critical points of development.
We work with 5 pieces (chuck, shoulder, loin, stifle and silverside), who were representatives of the carcass, told assistants Carme Gras, head of quality at General Càrnia. These pieces were available in a container to simulate the export conditions and in which periodic samples were performed to be analyzed at IRTA from the microbiological and physicochemical point of view, and to observe the evolution in its conservation.
The project has been a success and it has managed to maintain fresh commercial beef chilled and vacuum meat for a period of 84 days, with full guarantees, which allows improvements to current markets and new commercial opportunities in the future.
In addition, as noted by the technical director of ANAFRIC, refrigerated only 22% of the total and with a half life between 40 and 60 days is exported, the remainder is frozen meat, so that these results open many opportunities for improvement.