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Conference

1st International Meat Week took place in Bonn

How can we achieve that pork meat tastes good? Is it possible to notice by flavour if the animal had been kept well? And how could one achieve this with hindsight? Is it possible to standardise the sense of well-being of animals? Aspects of animal health and food security are becoming more and more important throughout the whole pork producing chain. In addition those aspects are important for the producers to keep their leading position in the global market for pork and pork products.

During the international conference „Improving the quality of pork for the consumer” on december 18th in Bonn about 220 experts of research and meat industryfrom 23 countries discussed topics around the entire pork producing chain. The conference was hosted by the foodnetcenter of the university of Bonn and GIQS (Grenzüberschreitende Integrierte Qualitätssicherung e.V.) in context with the international project Q-PorkChains, which is funded by EU 7th Framework Programme.

Q-PorkChains contains six research pillars. The objective of Q-PorkChains is to improve the pork production processes. With a budget of 20,73 Mio Euro it is so far the largest research project in the field of meat science financed by the EU Commission. It is being coordinated by Professor Dr. Anders Karlsson of the University of Copenhagen. Project partners are from the area of market research, animal production, meat science, molecular genetics, quality management and agriculture economics. The project modules reflect all facets of the pork production chain.

One project partner is the University of Bonn which is already for a long time dealing with standards of animal health. One possibility is to define biological markers which allow the detection of immunological stress (relation to the health of the animals) as well as environmental stress as pointed out by Prof. Brigitte Petersen from the University of Bonn. The well-being of the animals can be augmentedby a better heath status. Data of health risks can support the pork industry to produce healthier and more productive pigs. Consumers achieve by these activities high-quality meat and a better food security.

GIQS coordinates the implementation of the results into practise. The objective is to facilitate cooperation with Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) on pilot and demonstration activities and to develop inter-organisational collaboration along pork production chains and networks. The pilot and demonstration activities should provide European wide transparency of research outcome, new developments and innovations. Maren Bruns, project manager of GIQS (Grenz-überschreitende Integrierte Qualitätssicherung e.V.) pointed out that recently four additional pilot and two additional demonstration chains have been implemented in the project.

Thanks to the financial support by QUARISMA some international researchers were able to participate in the conference. QUARISMA is funded by the IAPP (Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways) Programme, which is an element of the specific Programme Marie-Curie Actions of the EU 7th Framework Programme. It started in recently. During the operational time of four years 22 researchers will be exchanged between the industrial and academic partners and four international researchers will be recruited. According to Dr. Detert Brinkmann from the University of Bonn, the main benefit of the project is this double transfer of knowledge.

During the international conference an opinion survey about boar fattening and piglet castration was presented to the audience. 120 experts took part in the survey. The results will be published separately.

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