Centre for Rural Economy

Naomi Kang

Naomi Kang

How can we characterise meat quality? Psychophysics of consumption indicators of the quality of beef

Email: N.Kang2@ncl.ac.uk

Supervisors: Dr Luca Panzone, Dr Sharron Kuznesof, Dr James Dornarski (Fera)

Project overview

Variability in meat sensory quality, especially in tenderness, flavour and overall liking depends in part on differences in the biochemical characteristics of skeletal muscles structures. Hence it is naturally susceptible to variation in beef palatability, which is evident in the market place.

Consumers can accurately assign palatability attributes and can distinguish between cuts, which have differing quality attributes while beef processors have a limited understanding of the factors affecting consumers’ dissatisfaction.

This research is associated with:

  1. A technical analysis of the factors affecting the UK consumer sensory experience of eating beef, using a multidisciplinary approach based on sensory science.
  2. Marketing research on consumer perception of meat quality.

The aim is to create a meat quality standard for the meat industry based on consumers' perception.

An integrative strategy of combing sensory and economic efficiency will provide objective assessment of the overall quality of beef.

In order to aggregate the intrinsic quality cues, a quality index I of beef steak product i can be developed as:

Ii = Σwi * f (xij), where:

  • xij is the quality attributes which will be assessed by consumer focus group discussion combine with direct measures of the beef. (study 1)
  • f is the function of the attributes, which can be expressed as the psychophysical thresholds.  (study 2)
  • Σw is the sum of the weight of attributes, which is measurable by using choice experiment combine with conjoint analysis. (study 3)