Representatives of meat processing companies from Mexico, Central America and South Korea recently gathered in Lincoln, Nebraska for a USMEF Global Processing Seminar. Held at the Loeffel Meat Laboratory on the campus of the University of Nebraska, the two-day seminar was funded by the National Corn Growers Association.
Meat processing trends, meat quality concepts, food safety and proper handling of raw materials served as the foundation for the program. New concepts and ideas for U.S. red meat as a raw material were also important aspects of the activity’s mission.
“Bringing processors in from some of the biggest markets for U.S. pork and beef and educating them on the use of U.S. raw materials for further processing is an important strategy to grow those markets even larger,” said Travis Arp, USMEF senior director of market access and export services. “We shared with them all the tools necessary to manufacture quality products, and we also held two sessions on new product development that included product ideas, tips on how to build unique flavors in processed meat products, and why using U.S. raw materials will help improve the quality of the products they manufacture.”
The University of Nebraska’s Animal Science Department was a partner in the seminar, as Meat Science faculty presented on topics such as the basics of meat processing, raw material specifications, freezing and thawing of meat raw materials, meat formulation and building unique sausage flavors. Faculty members Chris Calkins, Gary Sullivan, Dennis Burson and Roger Mandigo led the technical educational sessions.
Arp gave an overview of the U.S. red meat industry, including a look at economics, production trends, pricing and forecasts.
The University of Nebraska Meat Science Club also catered a prime rib dinner and reception hosted by the Nebraska Cattlemen. Agricultural commodity groups representing the beef, pork, soybean and corn industries attended the reception, along with Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.