Wageningen University & Research has appointed Shai Barbut as Special Chair in Poultry and Meat Sciences per June 1st. Shai Barbut is currently professor at the University of Guelph in Canada where he specializes in primary and further processing of poultry and meat. The Special Chair in Poultry and Meat Sciences is supported by Marel Poultry.
Global meat consumption has been steadily increasing over the past century. The increase is a result of population growth as well as increased demand for meat in developing countries where people now have more disposable income. Although a protein transition is inevitable, producing meat in a safe, sustainable and responsible way to meet the growing demand is also a big challenge to our society. To face that challenge, an integrated approach that requires expertise in production, processing and consumption is needed.
Overall, meat science encompasses various disciplines with the goal of bringing to the consumer wholesome meat products. Meat science also includes the area of further processing which focuses on topics such as food microbiology (e.g., product’s safety and shelf life), food engineering (e.g., heating, cooling), food chemistry (e.g., flavour development), economics (e.g., production efficiencies), sensory evaluations (e.g., texture, mouthfeel), and use of non-meat ingredients (e.g., starches).
One of the goals of this new chair position is therefore to connect these areas and gain insight into the interactions of production conditions (during live animal rearing) and the final meat product quality. This will be done with a particular focus on studying similarities and differences in the production within various systems for animal husbandry (e.g., for poultry, swine, bovine, fish).
The themes of this special chair fit into the Wageningen research to investigate the complex animal production and food chain in order to achieve sustainable production methods with attention for animal welfare, low emissions, low energy use, minimal food waste and high-quality products.
The Special Chair is embedded within the Adaptation Physiology group, led by prof. Bas Kemp, with a strong link to other relevant groups in the Food Science and Technology Department, especially Food Physics, Microbiology, and Food Quality and Design. Thus important links will be formed in the exchange of animal science, meat science and food science knowledge, as well as between Wageningen University, the University of Guelph and the industry.