MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015 - (Page 18)

BURGER REPORT OVERCOMING OFF-FLAVORS Allen Williams, a Mississippi-based consultant of branded meat programs and a partner in Winston-Salem, NC-based Joyce Farms, which processes and sells grass-fed beef primarily to restaurants on the East Coast, says there are four off-flavors that can be created from improper finishing. The first is a "livery" flavor, which is created from ranchers finishing cattle on forages that are too vegetative and lush. "In other words, they are too high in protein," Williams says. Too much protein creates uric acid that leads to a livery flavor in the carcass, he adds. The problem can be corrected if cattle are finished on mid-stage maturity forage that's high in plant sugars and low in protein, Williams explains. "The more-savvy finishers understand this, but there are still pockets [of ranchers in the US] that don't," he adds. An off-putting metallic flavor has been another issue. So has grass-fed beef that tastes "musty" because of improper dry-aging of carcasses, Williams says. Lastly, cattle finished on noxious weeds such as ragweed and/or wild onion, will have strong flavors associated with those weeds. The key to correcting these taste issues is to finish cattle on a polyculture of forages, what Williams calls "a salad bar of forages." The good news is that finishing is improving and Williams says most grass-fed beef tastes like it should - it has a rich, beefy taste. 18 MEAT+ POULTRY | 04.15 | www.meatpoultry.com Sportservice, a St. Louis-based food, beverage and retail management company. Recently, Vina, Calif.-based Panorama Grass-Fed Meats, one of the nation's top suppliers of grass-fed beef at retail, announced it's looking for another certified-organic plant to process its products on the East Coast to supply growing demand of the product in that region. Panorama currently utilizes two plants in California and Colorado. In 2005, Panorama processed 12 head a month into grass-fed beef. It now processes 200 head a week. Allen Williams, a Mississippi-based consultant of branded-meat programs and a partner in Winston-Salem, NC-based Joyce Farms, which processes and sells grass-fed beef to restaurants on the East Coast, cites statistics from the Wallace Center of the Winrock Foundation that retail sales of domestically produced grass-fed beef topped $400 million in 2013, compared to less than $5 million in 1998. Williams notes the demand for grass-fed beef has grown about 25 percent a year for the last 10 years, and that grass-fed beef will comprise 30 percent to 40 percent of the total beef market sector within the next 10 years. "Grass-fed beef will become more than a niche product - no doubt about it," he says. GRASS-FED'S ROOTS The grass-fed beef movement is consumerdriven and has been since its inception in the mid-1990s, Williams says. Back then, there wasn't much marketing and promotion to drive the category, and grass-fed beef was only in demand in a few regions, such as the Northeast and West Coast. But when the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) hit the US in December 2003, some consumers turned to grass-fed beef based on the perception that it was a safer alternative to its grain-fed counterpart. "There was a strong uptick in sales," Williams says. There was also a barrage of mainstream media attention for grass-fed beef, which was highlighted in food magazines and TV shows. Grass-fed beef brands like Niman Ranch and Panorama Meats took off. "It was like having free advertising for about five years," Williams says. "It helped drive consumer awareness of the product." http://www.meatpoultry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015

MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
COMMENTARY - The not-so-great outdoors
BUSINESS NOTES - MCDONALD’S ANTIBIOTICS POLICY SPARKS REACTION
SANDERSON NAMES SITE FOR NEW POULTRY PLANT
TYSON PLANT TO UNDERGO $47M UPGRADE
WAYNE FARMS FILES FOR IPO
OMP TO ACQUIRE CONAGRA PLANT
WASHINGTON - Advisors’ idle hands at issue
BURGER REPORT - Graze Craze
OVERCOMING OFF-FLAVORS
FRESH MATTERS
SLIDING INTO FIRST
FOOD SAFETY - SHORING-UP GROUND-BEEF SAFETY
SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS - New kid on the block
PACKAGING SOLUTIONS - MAKING A CASE
INDUSTRY EDUCATION - AGGIE-STYLE MEAT EDUCATION
INGREDIENT ISSUES - CLEANING UP
LIFERS - A MAN OF DISTINCTION
SHOW PREVIEW - PROCESSORS UNITE
FROM THE CORRAL - Handling keeps improving
SHOWCASE
NAMES IN THE NEWS
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISERS
THE INSIDER

MEAT+POULTRY - April 2015

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