This year the American Meat Science Association hosted a joint meeting of the 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) and the 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST). This is only the third time these meetings have been held jointly in the USA. The virtual event had over 850 registered delegates, making it the largest meat science conference in the world this year, and the largest virtual meat science conference in history. The conference highlighted 50 presentations from prominent and rising scholars that work to apply science and technology to efficiently produce safe and high-quality meat.
The congress highlighted student work in research paper competitions. Iowa State was well represented with a second-place finish by Matt Schulte in the PhD competition and Elizabeth Zuber received third place in the Masters level competition. Since the competition was held virtually this year, contestants recorded a five-minute presentation and completed a ten-minute question and answer session with the judges. Each of the students that placed in the top three in their category received a scholarship and a plaque.
Elizabeth Zuber presented her research titled, “Proteomics and Metabolomics from Early Postmortem Longissimus Dorsi to Explore Ultimate pH and Pork Quality” in the Muscle Biology/Fresh Meat Quality Masters competition. She found that even subtle changes in the ultimate pH can influence the quality of pork. Beth's poster was chosen as a conference "featured abstract" by the technical program organizers. Her observations have helped to understand how metabolism in muscle can influence the eating quality of pork. Beth recently completed her M.S. degree and her studies were with Dr. Steven Lonergan.
Matt Schulte, graduate student in animal science, presented his paper in the Muscle Biology/Fresh Meat Quality Ph.D. section titled “Influence of Zinc and Ractopamine Hydrochloride Supplementation on the Proteome of Early Postmortem Beef Longissimus Thoracis Muscle.” This research analyzed the impact of growth improvement strategies on muscle in beef finishing steers. Matt’s dissertation research is conducted with the direction of Dr. Elisabeth Huff-Lonergan in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Hansen.
Steven Lonergan, professor in meat science and muscle biology in the Department of Animal Science said, “Congratulations to Beth and to Matt! Their work is relevant and timely in meat science. They both have conducted high quality research and did an excellent job presenting and explaining their work in the competition”. The competition was sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc, JBS USA Food Company, and the American Meat Science Development Council.
The American Meat Science Association also hosted the 5th Annual Processed Meat Judging Contest during the conference. It was the first ever virtual processed meat judging contest. The contestants participated in workshops and then placed classes of processed meat products such as bacon, hams, and sausages. Johnsonville, LLC served as the contest sponsor.
The Iowa State University team won first place in the meat judging competition, and four ISU students placed in the top six individuals: Logan Johnson (6th), Matt Schulte (5th), Beth Zuber (2nd), and Jacob Manternach (1st). The team of Jacob Manternach, Beth Zuber, Matt Schulte, and Logan Johnson was the International Champion team in the graduate division.