The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has announced a variety of speakers for its symposiums during the 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) and the AMSA 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) exclusively virtual meeting.

Dr. Laëtitia Théron and Dr. Koo Bok Chin will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled Meat Processing” on Thursday, August 6, 2020. This session will be sponsored by Smithfield Foods, Inc.

The featured presentations include:

Toward the Prediction of the Pale Soft Exudative (PSE)-Like Muscle Defect in Cooked Hams: PSE-like muscle defect is of great importance in the cooked ham industry because of the economic losses it can cause. The flagship product is the “Jambon supérieur,” a polyphosphate-free cooked ham, usually sold sliced and packaged. The slicing is an automatic process that pops up the defect as holes in the slice and consequent slicing losses. Up to now the PSE-like defect is only detected after deboning the pork leg because it affects the inner part of the Semimembranosus muscles and also the Adductor muscles. Dr. Laëtitia Théron, Research Scientist at the French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, will discuss the objective of her study in this presentation, to develop innovative approaches that combine mechanistic elucidation and the discovery of potential biomarkers i) at the level of the muscle and ii) at the level of the live animal by analyzing proteins from plasma. The use of chemometrics for the spectral fingerprinting of pig plasma was chosen to predict the PSE-like muscle defect in cooked hams.

Controlling Ingredients for Healthier-Meat Products: Clean Label Issue: There are many ingredients to be incorporated in manufactured meat products. Some of those are necessary to improve flavor, taste and texture of the final products, and some of those might be good for human health.  However, the excessive intake of several ingredients, such as sodium, fat and high caloric compounds might be related to obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases. Therefore, the minimum amounts of the ingredients would be recommended for the manufacture of meat products. In this presentation, Dr. Koo Bok Chin, Professor at Chonnam National University, will focus on the minimum level of ingredients to be used for the maximum palatability and healthier-meat products.  In addition, the functional ingredients, such as natural antioxidants and antimicrobial agents to be added in the process of meat products will be also discussed. Controlling non-meat ingredients through reducing non-meat ingredients and adding functional ingredients suggest to develop healthier-meat products.


Dr. Massimiliano Petracci and Dr. Robyn Warner will be the featured Keynote speakers in the symposium entitled Meat and Poultry Quality” on Thursday, August 6, 2020. This session will be sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service - Livestock and Poultry Program. This concurrent session will focus on the current meat and poultry research and the status of what is taking place in the industry with an in-depth historical perspective.

The featured presentations include:

Current Status of Poultry Meat Abnormalities: Since the past decade, the poultry industry is facing increasing occurrence of growth-related muscular abnormalities that mainly affect fast-growing genotypes selected for their production performances (high growth rate and breast yield). Dr. Massimiliano Petracci, Professor at the University of Bologna, Italy will discuss these abnormalities, these abnormalities, termed as White Striping (WS), Wooden Breast (WB) and Spaghetti Meat (SM), primarily affect the superficial portion of the P. major muscles. Although these myopathies have distinctive phenotypes, WS, WB and SM affected muscles share similar histological features, thus suggesting that common causative mechanisms might be responsible for the myodegenerative processes associated with these conditions and might underpin their appearance. Meat affected by growth-related abnormalities is harmless for human nutrition, since no specific biological or chemical hazards have been found to be related to its consumption, however, WS, WB and SM abnormalities were found to negatively affect both quality traits and technological properties of raw and processed meat, causing relevant economic damages for the poultry industry.

Meat Texture and Tenderness – Historical Perspective and Innovations for the Future: Meat texture is an important quality trait including consumer sensory assessments of tenderness, which determine satisfaction, repeat purchase and willingness-to-pay premium prices.  Research over the last 70 years has been pivotal in determining the mechanisms determining meat texture and tenderness as well as industry advances for quality assurance.  These industry advances and understanding of mechanisms, including biology, biochemistry and bio-physics of meat in relation to tenderness have occurred throughout the meat supply chain.  The textural properties of meat are perceived in the mouth upon consumption, and plant-based analogues of meat have attempted to replicate this consumer experience, with limited success.  In the face of the current challenging environment, the continued success of the meat industry relies on ongoing advances in our understanding, and in industry innovation. During this presentation Dr. Robyn Warner, Domain Leader for Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Melbourne, Australia will give a comprehensive, contemporary review of meat tenderness and how the meat industry will continue to make meaningful progress in producing safe, high quality meat products.


Dr. Jude Capper and Dr. C. Alan Rotz will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled “Global Livestock Production Sustainability” on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. This session will be sponsored by Zoetis.

The featured presentations include:

Livestock Sustainability - Do Size, System or Species Matter?: Sustainability has become a key concern for all food system stakeholders, yet we are often talking at cross purposes or about conflicting issues. As concerns increase regarding greenhouse gas emissions, water use, antimicrobial resistance, plant-based meat alternatives and the cost of food, how do we continue to be sustainable? Is there an ideal system, species or size of operation, or do we have to think beyond the fence lines of meat production? The barriers and opportunities to maintaining sustainability will be discussed by Dr. Jude Capper, Independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant, in this session, both at the national and global level.

Environmental Sustainability of Livestock Production: With a growing global demand for livestock products and increasing concern over their environmental impacts, methods are needed for assessing and improving the sustainability of production systems. Life cycle assessment is a tool that is widely used to quantify and compare the environmental sustainability of agricultural as well as other products and services. Life cycle assessments of livestock production have focused on greenhouse gas emissions, but livestock may not have the impact on global warming that is promoted. Livestock, particularly ruminants, and their manure produce a lot of methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, but this gas oxidizes in the atmosphere leaving no long-term impact. More important environmental concerns, particularly in developed countries, may be water use and ammonia emissions from pastures and housing facilities. The major environmental impact though of livestock products and most other foods is waste, primarily from the consumer. In this session Dr. C. Alan Rotz, Agricultural Engineer for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, will discuss the many strategies being evaluated to reduce emissions and resource consumption in livestock production, including methods that are both highly effective and economical for implementation that are not readily available and more difficult to develop.


Dr. Bo Reagan and Dr. John Schmidt will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled “Food Safety Risks and Interventions: Realities, Opportunities, and Goals” on Monday, August 3, 2020. This session will be sponsored by Corbion.

The featured presentations include:

Salmonella Task Force Report: Uniting Animal Protein Industries to Reduce the Public Health Burden of Salmonellosis: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur in the United States each year. Of these cases, approximately 20% result in hospitalization while deaths range from 420 to 500 each year. Additionally, Salmonella contamination causes 28-31 percent of all foodborne illnesses resulting in death in the United States. Salmonella has been and continues to be a major pathogen impacting the safety of our food supply. The International Stockmen’s Educational Foundation (ISEF) has united the animal protein industries through the establishment of a Blue Ribbon Task Force to address Salmonella. In this presentation Dr. Bo Reagan, Meat Science and Food Safety Specialist at Zoetis, will provide insight into the Blue Ribbon Task Force’s efforts to manage Salmonella. Key areas within the animal protein production chain have been identified and working groups within these areas will be establishing recommended practices in an effort to reduce the public health burden caused by salmonellosis.

SMART Antimicrobial Resistance Goals to Drive Meat Safety Improvement: Concerns that food-animal production significantly contributes to antimicrobial-resistant human infections have persisted for more than 20 years. Most antimicrobial resistance concerns are generalized. By their nature, non-specific concerns are unfalsifiable and can never be scientifically alleviated or remediated. Therefore, meat safety improvement begins with defining SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound) antimicrobial resistance goals. In this presentation, Dr. John Schmidt, Research Microbiologist with the Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit at the USDA - Meat Animal Research Center, will discuss the SMART process for the highest priority antimicrobial resistance issues facing the meat industry to facilitate scientific goal attainment.


Dr. Jens Petter Wold and Dr. Dale Woerner will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled “New Technologies in Meat Quality Assessment” on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. This session will be sponsored by Cargill.

The featured presentations include:

NIR spectroscopic techniques for quality and process control in the meat industry: In this presentation Dr. Jens Petter Wold, Senior Research Scientist at Nofima, will give a brief overview of how in-line NIR spectroscopy is used for quality and process control in the meat industry today, including opportunities, challenges and limitations. Fundamental aspects and performance of novel NIR methods for in-line monitoring of e.g. core temperature in sausages during heat treatment, detection of Woody Breast myopathy in chicken fillets, and fat marbling in steaks will be presented and discussed.

Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) as a novel technology for accessing meat characteristics: A novel technology, Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometry (REIMS), utilizes metabolomics to identify compositional differences in meat. REIMS is a relatively new technology that is emerging in many areas of science, including in human medicine and biological sciences.  REIMS-based tissue analysis generally takes only a few seconds and can provide histological tissue identification with 90−98% correct classification performance. With REIMS, the operator is provided with a highly accurate mass spectrum in a matter of seconds. In this session Dr. Dale Woerner, Associate Professor and Cargill Endowed Professor at Texas Tech University, will provide applications and result for beef, lamb, and pork.


Dr. Andrea Liceaga and Dr. Poulson Joseph will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled “Alternative Sources of Protein” on Monday, August 3, 2020. This session will be sponsored by Nestle Purina.

The featured presentations include:

How Can Invasive Fish, an Aztec Plant Seed, and Insects Help Solve the World Food Demand in the Year 2050?: The Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that in order to feed the world population in 2050, agricultural systems must increase production by at least 50%. With increasing population and increasing worldwide demand for meat and dairy driven by demand in rapidly growing economies, this trend will no doubt continue. Current agricultural practices are not capable of meeting this increasing need, and a re-evaluation of the way in which we grow food, and the types of food we grow, is necessary. Using currently available, under-utilized as well as emerging protein resources can help mitigate some of these challenges faced in modern Agriculture. In this presentation Dr. Andrea Liceaga, Associate Professor at Purdue University, will provide an overview of such applications using three different examples of alternative protein resources including their applications, opportunities, and challenges.

Alternate Proteins: Market Landscape for Perspectives on Product Development: The meat industry is globally witnessing a path of growth, especially with increased demand for meat and poultry in emerging economies. At the same time, several factors are also stimulating interest in the ‘alternate’ sector, where products have been developed to closely offer the eating experience from certain meat products. This rise in flexitarianism offers a variety of choices of alternate proteins and their blends (non-animal and animal derived), offering new product development opportunities in the marketplace. In this session Dr. Poulson Joseph, Director of Protein Innovation at Kalsec, will focus on global trends and market landscape from a review perspective while laying out recent advances in product development in the alternate category.


Dr. JF Hocquette and Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled What is New in the Science of Meat Quality” on Monday, August 3, 2020. This session will be sponsored by American Foods Group.

The featured presentations include:

Research in beef tenderness and palatability in the era of big data: In recent years, research has focused on predicting the palatability of beef using muscle biochemical traits, their genetic markers, and other biomarkers. In these approaches, a precision definition of the variable to predict (tenderness assessed by panelists, untrained consumers, or shear force), as well as repeatability of the measurements are crucial to compare results across labs and for enabling consolidation of separate datasets, creating a significant data resource for the derivation of more robust predictive models, and more rigorous validation testing. Research was focused on tenderness, since flavour and other components of palatability are difficult to replicate through laboratory approaches. This “big data” approach would require careful definition of trait ontologies and transparent principles for data sharing, management, and contributor recognition. As in other scientific fields, meat science researchers should improve the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse of data (known as the FAIR principles). Furthermore, with the rapid evolution of new measurement technologies, the traits that they measure must be consistently described, enhancing our ability to integrate these new measurements into existing description systems. For beef, strategic choices have to be made in order to consider real consumers’ expectations, not well estimated correctly by lab approaches. This strategy has been successfully developed in Australia, which set up the “Meat Standards Australia” grading scheme, now partly adopted by the local beef industry. In this session, Dr. JF Hocquette, Research Scientist for the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, will discuss the ambitions of the International Meat Research 3G Foundation is to develop beef ontology, to set up an international database with a huge number of consumers’ scores related to beef palatability and collected according to standard protocols. Another goal of the foundation is to support the beef industry by offering an international predictive model of beef palatability, flexible enough to take into account any local livestock characteristics or any regional consumer specificity. This approach is supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which is promoting development of regulations and norms, technical cooperation and exchange of best expertise and practices. This will substantially improve the transparency of data flow and price signaling between all participants of the value chain, from beef producers through to consumers at retail.

Recent updates in meat color research: Integrating traditional and high-throughput approaches: Deviation from bright-cherry red color of meat results in less consumer acceptance and discounted in the value chain. In this presentation, Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan, Associate Professor of Meat Science and Leo and Kathy Endowed Research Professorship at Oklahoma State University, will focus on both fundamental and applied approaches to understand the effects of pH on biochemical changes, oxygen diffusion, and its impact on meat color. Recent updates utilizing high-throughput omics approaches to elucidate the biochemical changes with high-pH will be discussed. Further, emphasis will be given to improve the appearance of dark-cutting beef using active packaging and enhancement strategies.


Dr. Cheikh Fall and Mr. Kent Sisson will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled Gaining Access to Global Food Trade” on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. This session will be sponsored by the National Pork Board.

The featured presentations include:

Main Red Meat Seizure Reasons in Senegal: Example of Dakar slaughterhouse, from 2014 to 2018: Meat inspection at slaughterhouses is among the most important responsibility devoted to Veterinary services in Senegal. In this session Dr. Cheikh Fall, Veterinarian Consultant, will review the five-year retrospective (2014-2018) study to give an overview of the main seizure reasons and quantities of red meat (cattle, sheep and goats) seized in Dakar slaughterhouse, the biggest facility in the country. This analysis highlights also the significations and the limitations of data recorded. Data were collected from Dakar Slaughterhouse annual reports, analyzed and interpreted with MS Excel. In total, red meat seizures in Dakar slaughterhouse represent around 0,15% of slaughters and is valued at 123,440$ annually. Tuberculosis, Cysticercosis and Putrefaction Totalize 80% of the weight of cattle carcasses seized while, Distomatosis due to Fasciola gigantica represents more than 50% of the total weight of seizures of organs and 22% of the total weight of both organs and carcasses of cattle slaughters. The very limited implication of meat inspection to animal diseases surveillance system, the absence of laboratory investigation to clarify findings, the lack of traceability of slaughter animals and the non-codification of seizure reasons’ terminology limit the use of available data. A great attention should be paid to the quality of data recorded at slaughterhouses and to the occurrence and burden of Tuberculosis, Distomatosis and Cysticercosis in order to address them.

The Development & Importance of Cold Chain Infrastructure and Practices:  Key to Maintaining a Safe, Abundant, and Secure Supply of Meat and Poultry for ASEAN Consumers: This discussion will focus on how consumer demand for meat and poultry in the ASEAN region has grown in line with rising per capita incomes and tremendous economic growth over the past two decades, overlaid on how the lagging development of modern cold chain infrastructure, design, operations, and logistics have challenged the safe and secure distribution of locally produced and imported protein.  Mr. Kent Sisson, President of Siam Professionals LLC., will identify some of the greatest challenges in the region and also recent advancements and efforts to overcome those constraints along the entire cold chain continuum from the point of slaughter, processing, storage, and transportation to modern supermarkets as well as traditional open air wet markets.  He will draw upon his 27 years of experience as a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Service officer serving eight years in Indonesia and Malaysia, and his private sector research over the past three years conducted in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam on the cold chain and food trade logistics.


Dr. Manpreet Singh, Dr. Andrew Lee and Dr. Jeroen Hugenholtz will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled “Food Safety: Developing Effective Interventions” on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. This session will be sponsored by the Beef Industry Food Safety Council.

The featured presentations include:

Physical Interventions for Pathogen Control in Meat Processing: Consumer demands for safe and high-quality meat and meat products continuously challenge the meat industry. There is a shared responsibility for protecting public health where the meat industry plays a significant role. In efforts to manufacture safe meat products for consumers the meat industry is constantly changing and striving to implement effective interventions for pathogen control to assure microbiological safety without compromising the quality of meat products. Dr. Manpreet Singh, Extension Food Safety Specialist and Professor in the Department of Poultry Science, University of Georgia, will cover the use of physical interventions and their implementation in the meat industry to control foodborne pathogens. 

Antimicrobial Devlopment: Fundamentals and Applied Approaches: In This Session, Dr. Andrew Lee, Lead Scientist - Microbiology,   Kalsec, Inc. and Dr. Jeroen Hugenholtz, Group leader Microbial Cell Factories, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, will address important concepts of controlling microorganisms in meat/poultry and review the current technical landscape of clean label antimicrobials. In addition, applied approaches will be discussed with respect to developing antimicrobials for major food pathogens/spoilage microorganisms in relevant meat products. Lastly, a novel approach using fermentation technology to develop clean label ingredients undertaken in a private-public research consortium will be discussed.


Dr. Justin Ransom, Ms. Julie Garfieldt Kofoed and Ms. Claire Kells, will be the featured speakers in the concurrent symposium entitled “Corporate Responsibility and Giving Back” on Thursday, August 6, 2020. This session will be sponsored by Seaboard Foods, Seaboard Triumph Foods and Daily’s Premium Meats.

The featured presentations include:

Integrating Sustainability into the Way We Run Our Business: Sustainability is fundamental to our overall strategy and core values and plays an integral role in how we run our business. We’re committed to producing protein while taking care of people, the planet and animals, so that we can feed the world’s growing population, sustainably at scale.  We invest in team members and local communities where we can make the biggest impact.  We promote transparency in collaborating with global NGOs in setting goals and measuring progress and are recognized as making an impact by external agencies.  Dr. Justin Ransom, Sustainability Policy Lead at Tyson Foods Inc., will discuss leading sustainability through the value chain, working with farmers and ranchers to drive improved environmental and economic outcomes while continuously advancing the sustainability message to consumers in this session.

Corporate Sustainability for the Future We Want: The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. It calls on all companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals, such as the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In this session Julie Garfieldt Kofoed, Head of Human Rights, United Nations Global Compact and Claire Kells, Senior Manager for Corporate Engagement, United Nations Global Compact will explain how to get involved with the UN Global Compact and where to start your sustainability journey in this session. 


The 66th ICoMST and AMSA 73rd RMC will be held August 3-6, 2020 online in the virtual format. For more information please visit: or contact Deidrea Mabry 1-800-517-AMSA ext. 12.

Source: AMSA