An analytical lab housed in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at K-State is available for routine chemical analyses. Fat, moisture and protein measurements to support the development of nutritional facts labels and moisture:protein ratio (MPR) determination for shelf-stable meat products can be conducted in this lab. Salt analysis and pH determination can also be determined in the meat chemistry lab.
- Collect representative samples during production. try to collect product on different days or bathes of production and from different times of the day.
- Make a composite sample. Collect 6-12 samples of product, if possible, and combine them to make one composite sample. Generally, about one pound of composite sample is sufficient; however, this will be dependent on the type of analysis to be conducted.
- Package the composite sample in packaging material that is typically used when the product is sold. For example, if jerky is marketed vacuum packaged, then place your composite sample in a vacuum package.
- Keep and ship shelf-stable products at ambient temperature, and refrigerated or frozen products at refrigeration or frozen temperatures, as appropriate.
Prior to sample shipment, it is important to communicate your request for analysis with a contact person. A note or letter containing the details of your request should also be included with the sample when it is sent. The note should contain:
- Name of the company shipping the sample
- Name of a contact person at the company, including phone and fax numbers
- Type of sample
- Type of analyses that should be performed
Perishable meat samples should be shipped in insulated, clean, and structurally sound containers. When packing the sample for shipment, first place clean, frozen ice packs in the bottom of the shipping container. Next, place a layer of insulting material on top of the ice packs. This insulation can be any number of materials, such as a cardboard sheet, newspaper, bubble-wrap, or packing peanuts that do not degrade when wet. Cardboard and newspaper work the best. Next, place the sample on top of the layer of insulation and freezer packs. Add another layer of insulating material on top of the sample, followed by additional freezer packs, and another layer of insulation. Be sure to place a note with your request inside the box before it is closed. Securely close the container with packaging tape. Instructions to KEEP REFRIGERATED or KEEP FROZEN should appear on the outside of the package. Dry ice can be used in lieu of freezer packs. However, if dry ice is used as a coolant, more insulation is required to prevent the samples from freezing. Check with your selected courier service for special packaging and shipping instructions prior to using dry ice.
Shelf life meat products should be placed in a clean, structurally sound container or padded envelope together with a note of your request.
K-State scientists and Extension assistants will work with you to determine the type of analyses and number of samples needed for evaluation of your product. Fees for chemical analysis are dependent on services provided.
For assistance with chemical analysis, contact:
Kansas State University
Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
249 Weber Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-0201