When manufacturing meat products, many steps need to be controlled and monitored to obtain safe and high quality products.

R-Biopharm test kits can be applied throughout the whole food production chain: from raw materials to intermediates to final products, from the inspection of incoming goods to hygiene monitoring and finally to product analysis for correct labeling. Our large portfolio of different test formats can be used to analyze raw meat (beef, pork, poultry), sausages, ham, edible tissues, control matrices (e.g. hair) and many others.

Antibiotics

Incorrect or illegal use of antibiotics in livestock can lead to drug residues in meat and meat products which bear health risks for consumers. Additionally, the inappropriate use of antibiotics contributes to multiresistance of pathogen bacteria. Commission Regulation (EU) No 37/2010 sets allowable levels of antibiotics in foodstuff of animal origin, e.g. in meat (muscle): 100 μg/kg tetracyline, 500 μg/kg streptomycin, 150 μg/kg bacitracin and a zero tolerance for chloramphenicol.

Read more about antibiotics

Hormones and anabolics

Hormone and anabolic residues in meat can bear health risks for consumers. Therefore, in most countries the use of hormones and anabolics in livestock breeding is completely banned with exemptions for veterinary purposes.

Read more about hormones and anabolics

Hygiene monitoring

Microorganisms such as listeria, salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli or Staphylococcus aureus may cause foodborne diseases. Moreover, it is important to monitor typical spoilage organisms to reduce losses during production and to ensure the product’s stability until the declared shelf life.

Read more about microorganisms

Mycotoxins

Meat and meat products can be contaminated with ochratoxin A. This toxic secondary metabolite produced by moulds can accumulate in various agricultural products. Contamination of meat occurs when animals are fed with ochratoxin A contaminated feed. Contaminated meat may pose a risk to human health.

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Food adulteration

The varying prices and availability of meat products from different animal species (e.g. beef, horse) provide opportunities for the incorrect declaration of meat components. The identification of animal species is therefore very important in quality assurance. Moreover, the interest in animal speciation is based on religious reasons (halal and kosher food). To avoid fraud and financial damages, manufacturers should test their products with real-time PCR.

Read more about food adulteration

Acids, sugars and other constituents

Acids and sugars are often used as additives in meat production. For instance, lactic acid and acetic acid are added to meat products to increase the microbiological stability. Ascorbic acid is used as a reddening agent and as an antioxidant. Citric acid improves the peelability of sausages and stabilizes color, taste and flavor. Glutamic acid intensifies the taste. Glucose, fructose, lactose and maltose are added for flavoring and preservative action. The determination of acid and sugar content is therefore very important in meat production.

Read more about constituents

Allergens

Spice mixtures used in the production of sausages or other meat products may contain celery, gluten, mustard, nuts, milk or other ingredients which can cause allergies or intolerances. In most countries it is mandatory to label ingredients which can cause allergies or intolerances. However, unintended contamination is very common. That is why manufacturers should test their products to ensure correct labeling and to avoid product recalls.

Read more about allergens

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