It’s all a matter of taste

Aviagen investigates the science of chicken flavour with Scotland’s Rural College.
calendar icon 7 June 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Aviagen® is investigating the important matter of chicken-meat flavour, thanks to a scientific collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), which has a brand-new state-of-the-art mobile meat laboratory.

SRUC mobile meat laboratory

Aviagen prides itself on its pioneering approach to new technology and new ways to ensure product improvement – and employment of SRUC’s mobile meat laboratory is proving to be an invaluable tool in helping the company to maintain that goal. “We’re using SRUC’s mobile meat laboratory to carry out taste evaluations at Aviagen’s HQ for Research and Development,” says Santiago Avendano, Aviagen’s global director of genetics. “The laboratory is fully equipped with advanced meat analysis equipment and is specifically designed for taste panel data collection, which is invaluable to us.”

The laboratory caters for up to twelve tasters at a time, with each set of a dozen tests taking around ten minutes. The resultant large and detailed data sets can help Aviagen to fully explore the complex links between chemical and sensory attributes of chicken meat and its taste.

Tasting session

SRUC – undertaking industry-wide collaborations

SRUC, working together with the Centre for Innovation & Livestock Excellence, use the mobile laboratory to collaborate with many stakeholders in the agri-food sector, including breeding companies and also supermarkets. “Consumers are taking an ever greater interest in meat products with better quality and taste,” says Neil Clelland, geneticist at SRUC’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Division, “and the mobile meat laboratory presents a great opportunity to try and better understand their preferences.”

The research opportunities provided by the SRUC mobile meat laboratory complement Aviagen’s on-going research into all aspects of meat quality, allowing the company to build on existing work in this vitally important area of product development. “Consumer preferences for meat quality and taste ultimately influence our breeding decisions,” adds Avendano, “so this is a great opportunity for us to engage directly with the consumer and get invaluable feedback for our breeding program.”

About Aviagen

Since 1923, Aviagen® has established itself as the world's leading poultry breeding company, developing pedigree lines for the production of commercial broiler chickens under the Arbor Acres®, Indian River®, and Ross® brand names. The Rowan Range® and Specialty Males® are specialty breeding stock from Aviagen that offer greater flexibility for customers to meet specific or niche market requirements. The company is based in Huntsville, Alabama, USA with a number of wholly-owned operations across the United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Latin America, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S., and joint ventures in Asia. Aviagen employs more than 3,900 people and has a distribution network serving customers in more than 100 countries.

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