La revue Viandes et produits carnés

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




Evolution of beef consumption and production in China

Beef consumption in China has risen sharply since the economic reform and open economy policy in the late 1970s. However, a true industry with organized professionals has not yet been formed. In addition, the volume of production has increased, but with difficulty. The slowing down in production growth in recent years has led to a sharp rise in beef prices. This is due to a low productivity, which can be explained by many problems faced by traditional farming in China. These problems induce a continuous deterioration of the herd of reproductive cows. The latter is due to the dispersion of the small farms, the sharp reduction in needs of animal traction, the poor development of forage resources, the lack of technical skills and knowledge of small farmers, and finally to delays in the genetic improvement of local breeds.
This article is aimed at providing an overview of beef production in China and of its prospects in becoming a more organized industry. The actions that have to be implemented with the support of French researchers and professionals will be exposed. This will be done in the context of bilateral cooperation for the development of beef production in China.

Integrating quality criteria in beef cattle breed selection

A qualitative survey conducted by the Institute of livestock production (Institut de l’Elevage) as part of the OSIRIS program, was conducted with different actors in the meat industry. It shows that professionals were largely in favor of the integration of quality criteria in beef cattle breed selection. The three main criteria mentioned were tenderness, meat color and the presence of fat. The genomics revolution and the growing understanding of quality criteria may allow the industry to move in that direction. The survey was conducted as part of OSIRIS, a program funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and by France Génétique Elevage. This program intends to provide decision-making for selection guidance through bioeconomic models for the five ruminant species. Discussions will be led to determine how to make the most of meat tenderness costs, the most important criterion for the actors interviewed in the bio-economic modeling.

Canadian beef tenderness survey: 2001-2011

A large survey across Canada was developed collecting retail beef samples in 2001 (702 steaks) and 2011 (602 steaks). The samples (strip loin, top sirloin, inside round and cross-rib steaks) were evaluated for instrumental tenderness using standard procedures for sampling, storage, cooking and texture evaluation. New equations were also developed in order to compare the results obtained in these studies with consumer thresholds developed in Canada and the United States of America. In general, retail steaks collected in 2011 weighed less and showed higher fat thickness than those from 2001. Regarding tenderness, a significant improvement was observed, especially for strip loin and top sirloin steaks between 2001 and 2011. Using US threshold categories, the percentage of ‘‘tender’’ samples improved for the strip loin (2001 ≈ 89%; 2011 ≈ 99%), top sirloin (2001 ≈ 70%; 2011 ≈ 87%), inside round (2001 ≈ 52%; 2011 ≈ 61%) and cross-rib (2001 ≈ 65%; 2011 ≈ 76%) steaks. Similarly, the percentage of ‘‘tough’’ samples shifted from 5, 8 27 and 13% for the strip loin, top sirloin, inside round and cross-rib steaks in 2001 to 1, 5, 13, and 8%, respectively, in 2011. Similar improvements were observed when using the more descriptive four-category Canadian threshold system. These improvements may be due to changes in the animal population, production systems, carcass processing and distribution/handling prior to display in Canada.

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