NFOK15013U Meat Technology and Packaging

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology


The main objective of the course is to educate students in processes associated with slaughtering, meat by-product utilization and packaging. In addition, a sound background will be provided in what constitutes 'meat quality', both from the producers and consumers point of view and in the post-mortem events, which lead to the final quality of meat as well as packaging for fresh meat.

Knowledge of how production processes interact and affect end-product quality is important in order to be able to optimise high-quality meat production in a continuously changing industry with changing consumer preferences. Meat technology in the present course is emphasizing the understanding of the conversion of muscle to meat and on the fabrication of carcasses into primal and retail cuts.

The course emphasis is on aspects of factors in the complex meat production chain, which affect end-product quality of the raw material meat. The main focusing of the course will be on the meat technology elements slaughter and pre- and post-slaughter handling, as well as carcass chilling, cutting, deboning and carcass classification. Furthermore, description and utilization of meat by-products .

The course will provide students with an understanding of principal quality attributes of fresh meat, including texture/tenderness, water-holding capacity and colour, including how quality is defined and measured. Variations in fresh meat quality with substantial implications in subsequent industrial processing of meat will be examined. The course provides a background to understand the biological and technological basis of how meat quality is understood and controlled to provide optimal high quality fresh meat and also meat as a raw material for processed foods.

The course also includes general information about packaging of fresh meat, especially how different atmospheres (air, gas mixtures, vacuum, etc.) surrounded the meat can influence quality attributes, including protection of meat and meat products from undesirable impacts on quality. Material properties, intelligent packaging and active packaging will also be mentioned.

The course will be of benefit for all food science students aiming at a detailed understanding of fresh meat quality, and this insight will be used in relation to innovation and development of novel meat based foods.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course the students will be able to:


  • Show overview of knowledge on fresh meat properties and meat structure and the chemical background for quality changes occurring during storage of meat.
  • Describe how animal transport, pre-slaughter handling and slaughter process affect the fresh meat quality.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of current theories of the background of the sensory properties of meat, meat texture, meat colour and the water-holding capacity.
  • Describe the different types of by-products and utilization.

  • Describe how different atmospheres and technologies used for packaging of meat can influence quality attributes.



  • Understand the principles of the methods used to assess fresh meat quality.
  • Perform laboratory work and handle selected techniques and methods applied in meat science.
  • Structure reports and handle the literature in a correct manner.
  • Apply the literature and communicate knowledge about fresh meat quality.
  • Reflect upon own development and ability to see opportunities and the potential for students professional competences in entrepreneurship and innovation.



  • Make judgement of the ethical problems concerning animal welfare and meat production.
  • Cooperate with fellow students about solving problems in relation to meat quality.
  • Work independently in the final project and define the problem.
  • Discuss fundamental knowledge of fresh meat quality, and evaluate how the complex chain of primary production affect end-product quality.
  • Suggest and decide how to pack fresh meat.

See Absalon for a list of course literature.

Qualifications within the field of biochemistry and quality of raw food material is recommended.
Lectures, laboratory exercises, project work and excursions.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Exam Preparation
  • 15
  • Excursions
  • 24
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Practical exercises
  • 55
  • Preparation
  • 83
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Consists of two parts: Part I with 2 essay questions, and Part II with approx. 40 short answer questions.
Exam registration requirements

Approved laboratory practical reports.

All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computer, tablet or mobile phone CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Same as ordinary exam. Missing practical reports have to be handed in to be approved two weeks prior to the re-examination.

If 10 students or less are registered for the re-examination, the exam will be oral (20 min examination with 20 min preparation, all aids allowed).

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome