Inrae - Theix
Université Clermont Auvergne


The meat supply chain has turned the corner of modernisation, reorganisation and has opened up to innovation in order to develop added value. This scientific and technical programme forms part of the framework of these strategic issues, in particular those concerning the management of unit operations in the processing of meat products.

With the UMT, a skills tool specialising in the engineering of the processes applied to meat products is set up, in order to support and anticipate changes in meat processing technologies and to provide professionals with useful data on their strategic choices (based on investment and engineering).

This UMT is located in Clermont-Ferrand.


Axis 1: providing better knowledge of the phenomena involved in mass transfer during processing in order to manage product quality.
In particular, the pickling of meat products (immersion, injection, mixing, coating) is processed via the ProSafeBeef European project (2007-2011) and the Lipivimus project (ANR 2007-2010).

Axis 2: quality management during heating.
With a combined modelling approach (heat, water and solute transfers, quality kinetics) and an experimental or systemic approach to the impact of cooking on the nutritional or technological characteristics of meat, particularly by exploring alternative cooking techniques.

Axis 3: exploiting the properties of micro-organisms for health, organoleptic, technological or environmental purposes.

Microbiological management is applied in the implementation of biopreservation technologies applied to meat products (TrueFood European project 2006-2010, ProSafeBeef European project 2007-2011), for the health and organoleptic qualities of meat products, through the use of active packaging “antimicrobials” on the survival and growth of pathogenic bacteria and spoilage (FranceAgriMer 2009-2010).

Axis 4: exploiting by-products from the meat supply chain in the form of protein ingredients for functional or biological purposes.
Various projects are being carried out with professionals in order to rival or effectively replace other proteins (vegetable, dairy, egg products, etc.) which already boast significant sales in the processed meat product market. These harness the functional properties of the produced proteins, the formulation of new products and the optimisation of production processes.

Axis 5: characterising physico-chemical properties.

This cross-cutting measure enables chemical changes in colour stability during pickling and cooking to be measured and predicted (Interbev project 2008-2009) via the characterisation and monitoring of biochemical indicators.

Research results are exploited via a strategy of active communication (publications, lectures, professional partnerships, etc.).