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2006 Meat Industry Research Conference to Focus on Industry Research Needs

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Washington, D.C. - The annual Meat Industry Research Conference (MIRC), co-sponsored by the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) and the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), Oct. 4-5 at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. will feature a fresh format and the opportunity for attendees to set research goals for the upcoming year and beyond.

Over the years, MIRC has developed a reputation for presenting innovative science in practical, applied ways. This year’s conference will continue that course by reviewing current research projects and how they may be applied to future research needs.

The conference will begin with a keynote address by Douglas Archer, Ph.D., associate dean of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. Dr. Archer is an expert microbiologist and has served as deputy director with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, the Assistant Surgeon General and is currently a member of the FDA’s Food Advisory Committee. Dr. Archer will discuss the future of research, including challenges that food and meat science has the opportunity to solve.

Attendees will then have the ability to choose their focus for the remainder of the day after an introduction by MIRC Chairman Edward Mills, Ph.D. of Pennsylvania State University. Attendees may choose from Product Quality, Food Safety, Processing and Packaging and Consumer Needs. Each session will include thought provoking talks in key research areas and will use audience participatory breakout sessions to the process of prioritizing meat science research needs for the next five years.

The Product Quality group, led by Gary Smith, Ph.D., university distinguished professor and Monfort chair at Colorado State University, will focus on practical genetic tools to predict quality and biochemical events to time and temperature interactions during processing on muscle quality parameters.

Food Safety attendees will discuss the current state of food safety in the U.S. meat supply and how meat safety research has affected recent changes. Emerging pathogens, production unit-specific microbial loads and ecology are among the topics on the schedule for discussion. Dane Bernard, Ph.D., vice president of food safety and quality assurance at Keystone Foods will lead the discussion.

The Processing and Packaging session will look at the current state of technology in processing and packaging and explore new and innovative methods being developed to meat changing consumer needs. The session will be lead by Joseph G. Sebranek, university professor of animal science, food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University.

In the final group, Consumer Needs, Bucky Gwartney, executive director of research and knowledge management at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will discuss how the meat science research agenda should be targeted based upon recent consumer research. The session will also explore the future trends in nutritional and quality traits that consumer’s value.

Three sessions on the second day of the conference will focus on three hot button issues. The first is a status report on the prevalence of case ready meat products and the recent controversy surrounding modified atmosphere packaging. AMIF’s Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Randy Huffman, Ph.D., and AMI’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Professional Development Janet Riley will lead that discussion.

In the second session, Mark Walton, president of ViaGen, a company that focuses on agricultural genomics and advanced reproductive services, will discuss his perspective on cloning technology and the expected implications on relevant national and international policy issues.

The final session before the conference adjourns, will update attendees on the battle over sodium nitrite. New research continues to affirm nitrite’s safety and benefits; however, the use of nitrites in processed meat products continues to face many challenges. James Coughlin, Ph.D., president of Coughlin & Associates and Andrew Milkowski, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin will discuss the science of the issue and what lies ahead for nitrites in the international arena.

For additional MIRC and registration information, visit MeatAMI.com and navigate to the Events/Education section of the site. Registration is $125 and is a separate registration event from the AMI Annual Convention and Innovation Showcase. Qualified buyers, however, receive complementary admission to the Innovation Showcase exhibits.


For more information contact:
Patrick Wilson
Manager, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Aff

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