Alliance Invests In Innovative Technology To Capture More Value From Its Premium Programmes And Provide Insights To Farmers

27 Apr 2023

Alliance Group, New Zealand’s only 100 per cent farmer-owned red meat co-operative, has invested in cutting-edge technology designed to measure the level of intramuscular fat in its beef and lamb to capture greater value from its premium products.

In what is believed to be a first for a New Zealand red meat company, Alliance has been trialling Fluorescence Spectroscopy technology at its plants at Smithfield (Timaru) and Pukeuri (Oamaru) in a bid to consistently identify premium quality marbled beef and lamb with high intramuscular fat (IMF).

Fluorescence Spectroscopy technology uses light to accurately measure IMF in a carcass at commencement of processing to capture a ‘fingerprint’ of the IMF within a loin muscle.

The two largest contributors to the sensory experience when eating quality meat are IMF and ageing, with higher levels of IMF believed to be the greatest contributor.

“One of the challenges we have as a food company is to create the highest quality taste experience 100 per cent of the time,” says Willie Wiese, chief executive of Alliance Group.

“We have been working on this project for the last 12 months. This technology is exciting because we can immediately identify all premium quality carcasses early on without disrupting production and optimise the opportunity for higher returns in our global markets.

“It will enable us to build up and scale our premium programmes, which is a growing part of our business.

“Another key benefit of our shareholder farmer proposition is our ability to use the data to provide a detailed breakdown of a farmer’s mob performance over the entire season, allowing the farmer to drive behind the farm gate improvements to their stock and land.”

Shane Kingston, general manager sales and marketing at Alliance, says taste and texture are the number one drivers of a consumer’s eating experience. Through the deployment of evidence-based markers, Alliance Group can further differentiate its product offering to target consumers.

“IMF has a strong correlation with poly-unsaturated fat including Omega fatty acids. High IMF levels represent the healthy fats which are good for nutrition but also the health of the animal. It is therefore a key attribute that needs to be measured by livestock unit whilst other contributors can be periodically measured.

“The technOlogy can help drive accuracy and efficiency across our premium lamb and beef brands, ensuring consumers’ taste experience is consistently high.”

Alliance hopes to use the technology for its award-winning premium lamb and beef brands, Lumina Lamb, Handpicked Lamb, Handpicked Beef, and Silere, he says.

Alliance Group partnered with High Health Alliance (its joint venture with Headwaters) and the Ministry for Primary Industries through the Primary Growth Partnership Omega Lamb programme to successfully deliver the technology.




For further information, contact:

Sam Halstead
Telephone: 027 474 6065

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