MLA commissioned Prof. Consulting Group to conduct an investigative review of a new thermal processing technology referred to as Advanced Sous Vide Aseptic Packaging (ASAP).
ASAP claims to keep cooked meat fresh and juicy for up to two years without refrigeration or the use of preservatives. ASAP was invented and is developed by Hong Kong based company IXON Food Technology.
Removing the high cost of refrigerated supply chains and enhanced food safety controls should improve profitability of the red meat industry and deliver the additional benefits of an important sustainability message.
The literature review aimed to determine if:
- the technology works and supports the initial shelf-life claims
- ASAP is worth additional investigation
- the technology can satisfy domestic and international food regulations.
The project also developed an understanding of process implementation within the local marketplace.
- The technology is more advanced in its evolution than conceptual or bench top theory, which gives confidence in the evolution of development to see that samples have been produced and shipped internationally.
- While the scientific articles are not publicly available, the level of funding to date and quality of industry partnerships infer credibility of the claims.
- The level of recognition and awards for the technology is positive.
- Regardless of targeting the food service market or retail – the value opportunities by reducing the need for a fully chilled supply chain are significant.
- The data reviewed suggests that the shelf-life claims are theoretically achievable although would certainly warrant further examination as more data becomes available.
- The transition from pilot scale to commercialisation is planned and targeting significant cost of processing reductions to deliver a cost-effective solution for the red meat industry.
- Regulatory acceptance and definitions will be key to support access into some export markets delivering outside the chilled chain.
- Toll process costs for 1 tonne per day would be USD$2 per Kg or 4 tonnes per day manufacturing USD$1 per kilo.
Benefits to Industry
- The ability to access an in-line processing solution that compliments traditional meat packing technology provides access to new markets with ‘fresh or chilled’ products.
- Adoption of the technology could, subject to regulatory alignment, provide access to a global market for the Australian red meat sector.
- Other market opportunities include a D2C model, where as an example international consumers could subscribe to a regular butchers box program of Australian steak.
MLA will ensure that the technology platform and associated claims/labelling satisfies all regulatory requirements.
MLA will also participate with interested domestic processors and brand owners to further test and develop Australian red meat solutions, so that international supply chains can be developed for the exporting of ambient Australian red meat offers.
Future research should include customised product development with brand owners with verified process maps demonstrating shelf life and market acceptance.
Download MLA Sustainable Red Meat Packaging Report.