La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560




Analysis of the book "La joie de manger"

“La joie de manger”, written by a recognized specialist in nutrition and member of the French Academy of Agriculture, places the act of eating in its globality with its three equally important functions: to nourish, to delight and to bring people together. He recalls the cultural dimension of our food. It shows how the food offer in our country is qualitatively and quantitatively remarkable and does not poison us, even if progress can and must still be made. The question of animalism and anti-speciesism, which are opposed from an anthropological point of view to the place of man, is largely developed from a moral and ethical angle. A spiritual approach to our diet gives this book an additional originality. Gratitude, respect, sharing, sobriety are values that can guide us far from dogmatic nutritional and ecological discourses. Thus, a peaceful relationship with our food and with others can be born. This book contrasts with many anxiety-provoking or moralistic books on food. Through five chapters, it addresses five facets of the place of food in human life.

Camel meat, a meat of the future?

The dromedary, also called one-humped camel or Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius), has a particular feeding behavior. Indeed, its digestive physiology is entirely oriented towards the valorization of fodder with low nutritional value. The dromedary is a polygastric animal, but it is often qualified as "pseudo-ruminant". The meat of the latter is an ethnic food consumed in the arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Given its popularity for its medicinal and nutritional reputation, camel meat could be an excellent option for a sustainable global supply of red meat.

Can agroecology help in meeting our 2050 protein requirements?

Given the global demand of proteins predicted for 2050, a transition of our current agricultural model is required. An agroecological model proposes to meet these needs while producing with ecological foresight, but also considering social and economic issues. Livestock rearing in order to meet protein needs is where agroecological principles and the more industrial accepted term of sustainable intensification overlap in certain areas. Multiple definitions of sustainable intensification have been proposed, however, many have a focus on an increase in productivity on already cultivated land while reducing environmental degradation and sparing natural habitats from agricultural expansion. Animal products, as demonstrated within this review, can contribute to a global diet within a limitation of 11–23 g of protein/person/day through agroecological practices. Animal protein can be included if livestock are fed only on pasture, waste or by-products; no scenario exists in which livestock could continue to be fed on human-edible crops. Agroecological practices are already being used by smallholders globally, however, barriers exist to scaling up and out these practices, which require a shift in the policy framework to value and transfer the knowledge of agroecological farmers and increase their access to public resources such as infrastructures. As currently both large-scale agri-industry and smallholders provide for the global population, a strategy that includes both could be favoured. Coupling the upscaling of agroecological practices used by smallholders and transitioning intensive agriculture towards an agroecological model using sustainable intensification as a bridge to implement agroecological practices could help ensure global protein requirements in 2050.

Breeding of large camelids

While the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the large camelids (dromedaries and Bactrian camels) have been widely commented by researchers, the modalities of its rearing (reproduction, lactation, feeding, fattening, sanitary and technico-economic management) in a context of "zootechnical modernization" are more rarely exposed. The present book attempts to provide a practical synthesis for all the new actors of this emerging sector.

Breeding of the Maraîchine breed beef cattle and meat quality

The breeding of local breeds with small or very small numbers of animals is currently attracting renewed interest because it is in line with agro-ecological issues and meets consumer aspirations. This article focuses on the Maraîchine cattle breed, which is currently used for meat production. Within the framework of a research-action project, researchers built a protocol with farmers to evaluate the nutritional and sensory quality of their beef. After presenting the context of the Maraîchine cow farm, the article presents the experimental design and the results obtained. Ten grass-finished beef cattle and 8 concentrate-finished beef cattle from 7 farms were recruited. The analyses were performed on flank steak and focused on the biochemical and metabolic characteristics of the muscle, sensory qualities and rheological properties, intramuscular lipid content and fatty acid composition, and finally, on the antioxidant potential of the meat. Meat is on average richer in polyunsaturated fatty acids and less rich in saturated fatty acids than other meat breeds. The grass finishing diet leads to leaner meats with a better health value. Antioxidant defenses are very high and grass-fed finishing mainly strengthens exogenous antioxidant defenses. Regarding sensory and rheological qualities, grass finishing does not affect the color of the meat but results in a less tender meat despite an increase in juiciness.

Quality prediction tools tested by French professionals

The beef industry is structured by two types of consumption: everyday purchases oriented towards economical products in tender portions, often processed (such as chopped steak) and pleasure purchases oriented towards a search for gustatory pleasure and the satisfaction of societal and environmental criteria.
However, it is difficult for the industry to guarantee regular and homogeneous products to satisfy consumers. These inadequacies stem from the current carcass grading systems. Thus, the professionals we met appear to be in favor of a change in the grading system based on a sensory quality prediction system that could be inspired by foreign systems such as "Meat Standards Australia" for butchered cuts. Such a system, through its segmentation, could meet the expectations of both types of consumption, daily and pleasure, allowing to generate an added value for the whole sector as it is the case in Australia. However, the diversity of organizations with sometimes divergent interests makes it very unlikely, in the short term, to set up a prediction system on a sector-wide scale. Thus, the implementation of a carcass prediction system would more likely be the result of an individual initiative. The links where an individual initiative is most likely are, on the one hand, mass distribution for which the triggering lever lies in the dissemination of knowledge and, on the other hand, meat companies independent of livestock farming that wish to ensure a regular and qualitative supply. In addition, economic, operational, political and knowledge barriers make it unlikely that a sensory quality prediction system for beef will be developed collectively or by the upstream sector. However, a low probability exists, depending on the perception of a possible socio-economic opportunity by an innovative organization or on the evolution of European regulations.

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