EXCELMEAT: an international research network for the genetic improvement of pigmeat quality and the development of biosensing technologies as rapid and cost-effective tools for meat quality evaluation

EXCELMEAT puts forward the collaboration between 8 research groups (from Belgium, China, Italy, Spain, UK, Ukraine and USA) with international projection in the field of pig genetics.
EXCELMEAT aims at creating an International Pig Genetics and Meat Quality Network to:

  • increase worldwide cooperation in the area of pigmeat quality;
  • provide long-term training schemes for scientists;
  • stimulate academia-industry interaction;
  • develop multidisciplinary collaborative projects on the genetics of pork quality;
  • develop new biomarkers and technologies (biosensors) for rapid evaluation of pigmeat quality traits.

Pork quality is a complex term defined by a plethora of traits related to pig carcass and performance, sensory and texture attributes, fatty acid content and composition and muscle fibre types. Sensory traits, of especial relevance for consumers, depend mostly on meat composition traits (mainly muscle fibre types and fat distribution and composition).
EXCELMEAT includes a collaborative working plan based on the exchange of research staff aiming at optimising and improving pigmeat tenderness via marker selection for the relevant sensory, nutritional and technological traits. To maximise the training and research outcome of each stage, researcher exchanges are based on partners? complementarity on skills, technology and biological resources. In parallel to developing new genetic markers for pork quality, we will explore the use of novel and low cost technologies (biosensors) for rapid evaluation of pork quality traits on-line or at retailers, which could potentially be adapted for evaluation of genetic selection on live animals.
As part of this network we plan to organise two workshops (on biosensor development and on the genetic aspects of pork quality) and one general conference, which will include academy, industry and stakeholder delegates to promote interaction and facilitate transfer of scientific results and new technologies to the end-users.

Coordinator Institut De Recerca I Tecnologia Agroalimentaries (Spain)

Other participants:
- Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari-DISTAL
- Resp. Scientifico: Prof.ssa Roberta Davoli
Universidad De Lleida (Spain)
University Of The West Of England, Bristol (UK)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Iowa State University (USA)
Institute of pig breeding named after O.V.Kvasnytskyy UAAS (Ukraine)
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (China)


Start date 08/02/2011

End date 07/02/2015

Duration 48 months

Project Reference 246760

Project cost 84.600 EURO

Project Funding 84.600 EURO


Subprogramme Area Marie Curie Actions—International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES)

Contract type International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES)