The future trends for research on quality and safety of animal products

Nigel D. Scollan, J. F. Hocquette, F. Medale, G. Duffy, R. Ian Richardson, S. Prache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


Quality must now be considered as a convergence between consumers' wishes and needs and the intrinsic and extrinsic quality attributes of food products. The increasing number of quality attributes which must be considered, increasing globalisation and the heterogeneity in consumption habits between countries are making this convergence progressively more difficult. In parallel, science is rapidly evolving (with the advent of genomics for instance), and a growing number of applications is thus expected for the improvement of food safety and quality. Among the meat and fish quality attributes, colour is very important because it determines, at least in part, consumer choice. The key targets to ensure a satisfactory colour are animal nutrition and management for fish, processing and product conditioning for meat. Tenderness and flavour continue to be important issues for the consumer because eating remains a pleasure. They both determine quality experience which itself influences repetitive purchase. Meat tenderness is a very complex problem which can be solved only by a holistic approach involving all the factors from conception, animal breeding and production, muscle biology and slaughter practice to carcass processing and meat preparation at the consumer end. Today, safety and healthiness are among the most important issues. Unfortunately, animal products can potentially be a source of biological and chemical contamination for consumers. The introduction of both control strategies along the food chain and the development of a food safety management system, from primary production to the domestic environment, are key issues that must be achieved. Despite a high dietary supply of saturated fats by dairy and meat products, it is imperative that professionals involved in animal research and in the associated industry convey the positive nutritional contributions of animal products to both consumers and health professionals. The latter include protein of high biological value, iron, zinc, healthy fatty acids including omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acid. Fish products are well known for their high content in PUFA. Meanwhile, new strategies in terms of antioxidant supply are required to limit PUFA and cholesterol oxidation, which has many detrimental effects including contributing to reduced sensory attributes. Traceability is another quality attribute used to implement food safety and quality. Traceability of an animal’s breed and identity, of geographical origin and of diet fed are increasingly important issues demanded by consumers. Safety and quality are thus important issues with increasing complexity, research has to adapt itself to meet this challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-72
Number of pages24
JournalItalian Journal of Animal Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'The future trends for research on quality and safety of animal products'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this