Red meat R&D: AMPC Academy of Meat Engineers designs own sausages

Beef Central, 24/03/2022

WELCOME to the regular series of articles focusing on red meat R&D, presented by Beef Central and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation. These items highlight a range of projects designed to enhance the efficiency, productivity, product quality and safety of Australian red meat sold into the domestic market and around the world.

All have the ability to help underpin Australia’s unrivalled reputation as the world’s premier export of quality beef, lamb and offal. Links to previous articles in the series appear below.


Participating the the inaugural meat engineers acadamy were from left, Brendan Lydford, Sally Cheng, Mathew Callinan, Tracey Stuart, Stephanie Walker, and Andrew Hearnden

THE Australian Meat Processor Corporation launched its Academy of Meat Engineers recently, with the first cohort of students participating in two intense and fun days of learning.

The Academy taught participants how to develop and commercialise new meat products and was held on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 March at the Kilcoy Global Foods Innovation Hub in Queensland. Participants included AMPC members from a range of different meat processing plants across Australia.

AMPC chief executive officer Chris Taylor said the academy was about creating new opportunities and revenue streams for processors. It’s all about maximising value from each carcase.

“We are seeing strong interest from the processing sector in growing gross margins through value-added product. I’m proud to have AMPC provide capability development in this space to support the growth of the sector.

Academy participant Brenden Lydford, Production Graduate at Kilcoy Global Foods, said the training was highly relevant for the industry.

“The facilitator added a blend of textbook and hands-on learning, and kept a focus on the consumer and processor,” he said. “This is a must for everyone in the meat processing industry with learnings all about increasing value and the bottom line.”

AMPC facilitator Dave Dwyer said the first session went extremely well.

“We had lots of interactive activities mixed with theory. Participants learnt everything from the beginning to the end of how to produce, value-add and commercialise sausages, burgers and mince.

“We got into the nitty gritty of things such as meat selection, machinery and technology, as well as discussion of shelf-life and weight-enhancement techniques.

“On day two, we got into the fun stuff producing our own ‘batch packs’ – which is all about spice-flavouring meat products. Participants created their own burgers, sausages and meatballs.”

Kilcoy’s Brendan Lydford said he learnt that you can take a simple product, develop and plan a new process, and turn that item into a range of new products.

“A highlight for me was learning that you can ‘tumble’ a product to enhance its overall weight while maintaining the integrity of the product.”

Tumbling is mixing meat with a flavouring under pressure.

Day two included a sausage competition where the sales team from the Kilcoy Global Foods Innovation Hub judged the best sausage.

Participants designed their own sausages through adding their unique spices and ingredients.

“I can honestly say I have never seen sausages like this on the market,” Dave Dwyer said.

Technologies taught throughout the two-day session included grinding, mixing, filling, weight enhancement, and process technology.

Equipment used included a burger press, sausage filler, pressure mixer and mincer. “This equipment in a meat processing plant is extremely important to value-add and create new products for sale,” Dave said.

Participants will be taking the learnings back to their plant and either contribute to what they are already doing in the new product development space or getting processes and equipment up and running so that they can begin to value-add and create new products.

The training finished up with a big cook-up and everyone enjoyed eating the new products they had developed.

The training cohort has a further two-day session in August this year. The session will cover food service products, retail value-add and high profitability product development.

For processing staff interested in participating in the AMPC Academy of Meat Engineering register your interest by emailing Dave Dwyer here



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