Service category - Meat

The aim of research and development projects on meat is to strengthen domestic meat production and promote value creation in rural areas in collaboration with producers and other stakeholders. Emphasis has been placed on measurements of nutritional value, utilization, meat quality, shelf life and animal welfare to demonstrate the uniqueness of Icelandic products.

In sheep breeding, the emphasis is on the effect of breeding, slaughter methods and the effect of treatment before and after slaughter on the quality of lamb. The quality of Icelandic lamb has also been compared with the quality of foreign lamb. In horsemeat, the emphasis has been on uniqueness in nutritional value and fatness, but also on information on the utilization of meat carcasses, shelf life and product development. Reports have been published on the impact of the European assessment on the utilization and value of bovine carcasses and on the quality of boar meat. Projects have also been carried out on the utilization and nutritional value of poultry and pork. In recent years, three projects with an emphasis on increasing the production of goat products have been carried out in close collaboration with the Goat Breeding Association.

Genetic methods have been used to enhance breeding and product traceability. Work has been done on the development of a paternity test for Icelandic sheep, but such tests have previously been developed at Matís for horses and cattle. It is important to be able to confirm the paternity of sheep, especially in order to eliminate hereditary genetic defects. Work has also been underway on the development of a new genetic methodology for the analysis of the origin of beef. With this methodology, beef products can be traced to individual cattle. Furthermore, the method can be used to confirm whether beef has been produced in Iceland or imported.