"Taste enhancing" lamb research efforts

Lamb chops have been getting more delicious and it’s partially due to the research results from a local scientist, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.

Mr Macdonald has paid tribute to the research efforts of DPI meat scientist, David Hopkins, who has been recognised by the global scientific community for research that’s contributed to improving the eating quality of lamb and sheep meat.

"Dr Hopkins’ efforts in this field have been recognised by a leading scientific publication, which is a significant achievement in itself, and also indicative of the high regard NSW DPI’s scientists are held in," he said.

"ScienceWatch, an international electronic journal which has been tracking research trends and performance for more than a decade, has listed Dr Hopkins’ recent work as a ‘hot new paper’ (HNP)."

Dr Hopkins work was awarded the HNP status due to the number of papers which have referenced it, and also for the influence Dr Hopkins’ work has had on subsequent research.

"Both consumers and industry have been able to benefit from our research into producing tender, tasty meat," Dr Hopkins said.

"NSW DPI research has contributed to improved genetics which allows producers to enhance the carcase composition and eating quality of meat.

"Quality has also been improved by processing techniques and we are continuing work in both those areas."

Market approval of local lamb has been reflected in lamb exports which hit record highs last year, while domestic demand for lamb remains high.

Working from NSW DPI’s Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station (CARAS), Dr Hopkins’ team has extended their research to beef and goat meat quality.

Dr Hopkins’ HNP featured in the March/April 2008 edition of ScienceWatch. Papers published in the AJEA meat quality edition were based on research funded by the Sheep CRC.

Both journals are available online, www.sciencewatch.com and www.publish.csiro.au