The power of meat – innovations and legacies paving the way for the future of animal protein

On Friday, 6th May 2022, a successful hybrid Meat Symposium was held at Wageningen University and Research. More than 150 participants attended the inspirational talks on the Power of Meat given by ten speakers.

The symposium was divided into four main themes and brought ten renowned speakers from academia and industry at the forefront of meat science and technology to inspire and share ‘The Power of Meat’. Each speaker gave an overview based on their personal observations and experience over the years and aimed to inspire the attendees.

The symposium was opened by Dr. Sara Erasmus, who welcomed the participants and put into context the background of the symposium. Hans Spoolder, the coordinator of the mEATquality project, took part in this introduction and emphasized the importance and need for more research as an integrated approach to solve the global challenges we currently face.

Prof. Shai Barbut and Theo Verkleij, of the organizing committee, also welcomed the participants and introduced the speakers.

Development of meat from past to present” was the first theme introduced by Professor Emeritus Eero Poulanne (Research Director University of Helsinki, Finland), who delivered a detailed account of the history of humanity around meat production and meat consumption, with concluding remarks on the importance of meat in our daily lives. Later, Dr. Clyde Daly (Director Carne Technologies, New Zealand), provided an insight into one of the interventions that have changed the meat industry: electrical stimulation. Prof. Louwrens Hoffman (Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia) concluded the first theme by providing an overview of how carcass and meat quality has been defined over the years and what the might future holds.

In the second theme of the morning, entitled “Current trends, development, and research“, Prof. David Gerrard (Chair, Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, USA) talked about ‘Fresh Meat Quality, Where Now?’. This lecture was followed by Dr. Marchen Hviid (Danish Meat Research Institute, Denmark), who presented an overview of the current executed industrial developments and research in Denmark.

In the afternoon, the third theme, entitled “Current Innovations, automation, data use“, was introduced by Theo Hoen (Co-owner of a broiler farm and software company QF Soft, The Netherlands). He presented his account on why ‘Chicken is champion’ – covering the whole poultry meat chain, current innovations, the use of data and information technology. The next speaker was Wim Beeftink (Innovation Director of Marel Meat, the Netherlands) with his presentation titled, ‘Lights out the factory of the future’, which covered automation of the meat industry. Finally, Prof. Isabel Revilla (University of Salamanca, Spain) concluded by giving an overview of spectroscopy-based approaches from the laboratory to the use of portables in meat research.

The final theme of the day focused on “Looking to the future and the meat legacy”, where Dr. Andrzej Sosnicki (Technical Services Director of Pig Improvement Company, USA) presented his views on the future and urged the attendee to decide: ‘Will the meat/pork industry be a dynamic future industry?’ The attendees were triggered to think about and act upon his questions. The last speaker was Prof. Declan Troy (Assistant Director of Research, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland). He concluded the day with his inspiring presentation on the ‘Meat legacy’ and meat science being a powerful evidence-based tool that is needed now than ever before.

The organizers encouraged all to continue with their remarkable work, embrace the idea to inspire new, young researchers, and work together to adopt the meat legacy for now and for the future generation of meat scientists.

The organising committee: Prof. Shai Barbut, Ing. Theo Verkleij, Dr. Sara Erasmus, Mr. Zhijun Wang and Ms. Seren Yiğittürk

The presentations of the speakers are available on our Youtube channel:


Looking to the future and the-meat legacy only available in pdf:


Press Release: