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The Manual of Manufacturing Meat Quality.

This manual was compiled at the Leatherhead Food RA on behalf on their Meat and Fish Products Panel under the chairmanship of Dr T Toomey. In fact, its very being is rounded on the success of an earlier publication, Notes on Meat Products, produced by the same Panel. The main purpose of this new text is to rationalise the understanding of technologists and scientists, who are not necessarily experienced in meat technology, and those, trained in butchery skills, who are not well versed in the use of meat as a raw material. Originally this work was funded by the Panel but as soon as the project became bigger, with encouragement from MAFF, funding support was sought and gained from the DTI.

To encourage repeat sales the manufacturer needs consistent quality raw material. Now meat is not the easiest material to purchase with consistent quality, whether you are talking about texture, taste, eye appeal or all three. To that one must add there are numerous possibilities for a meat supply to vary all along the 'production' line right from farm level.

This manual describes a systematic approach that is aimed at minimising variations so as to obtain a raw material of uniform quality. Its five chapters carry explanatory titles, as follows: Common quality problems in manufacturing meats; Factors affecting the quality of meat; Specification of meat quality; Inspection and testing of raw meats; and Organising for consistent quality.

One of the points made in the Foreword is that you can have all the systems in the world but you still need them to be operated well to achieve the right effect. The value of training in techniques such as these cannot be to highly emphasized.

Towards the end of the book the compilers have thoughtfully added a list of journal relevant to the subject as well as a list of more formal publications. Like all good manuals, the text is well laid out and is full of useful information. In some places it might appear basic but it may be that just such an area is most important.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1993
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